[25 June 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
The Alternate Worlds EP is a reimagining of four songs off of last year’s Lanterns album. It is notable in that Son Lux, which is the moniker for the Denver-born Ryan Lott, has roped in current It Girl Lorde for a version of the song “Easy (Switch Screens)”. While that connection might be enough for fans to shell out the cash for this release, the Alternate Worlds EP is strangely underwhelming and inconsequential. The first couple of times that I personally listened to this EP, the sounds just simply washed over me, without lingering or causing even an inkling of feeling. That’s the EP’s greatest failing: it really doesn’t feel like a major work, and is simply just an excuse for its author to tinker around with already existing sounds. That’s a bit of a disappointment, as Son Lux seems to be an outfit poised on the brink of something greater, but the Alternate Worlds EP appears to be remarkably filler-ish.
The opening track “Alternate World (Alternate Age)” has a nice pedal steel guitar wafting in and out of the mix, but seems to be more of an experiment in glitchy electronica that doesn’t really resonate in any way, shape or form. The most memorable thing about follow-up track, the aforementioned “Easy (Switch Screens)” is not the high-powered presence of Lorde, but a jazzy saxophone that offers up the odd lick here and there. Which is probably not what Son Lux was shooting for by bringing in such a high-profile guest vocalist. “Build a Pyre (Begin Again)” has a rambunctious synth line, but that’s all that the song really has to offer. And “Lost It to Trying (Mouths Only Lying)” is just about as equally unmemorable, despite the fact that there’s a soaring female vocal line in the background of the track. Basically, the Alternate Worlds EP is something only really for fans who are already familiar with the artist’s previous work and are interested in hearing how certain songs get the remix treatment. Alternate Worlds is yet another EP of remixes or reimagination that fails to make much of a mark.