There is a function in iPhoto that allows you, with one simple click of the mouse, to sepia tone any photograph, creating a sort of instant, fabricated nostaglia. Listening to Bexar Bexar’s sophomore release, Tropism, I was struck with a similar feeling of insincerity. Over ten tracks, gently plucked guitar lines are surrounded in a haze of faux radio static, gently processed noise and distant feedback, resulting in an album that revels in its own invented mystique. It’s all very palatable, but unfortunately, the songs are largely forgettable. The delicate tunes rarely build into anything substantial, repeating phrasing or changing with such mannered subtlety, you can’t help but roll your eyes. For many, the disc’s ability to suitably add a backdrop to sophisticated dinner chatter or disappear into a Sunday morning spent with a newspaper and a cup of coffee will be a major selling point. But for those seeking an engaging listening experience, Tropism leaves much to be desired.
// Notes from the Road
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