Aidan Baker & Thisquietarmy: A Picture of a Picture

[7 May 2009]

By Erin Lyndal Martin

There are only four tracks on A Picture of a Picture, yet the album clocks in at over an hour. The epic song-length is typical of ambient and post-rock (the two genres Baker straddles), but, unfortunately, this album offers nothing new to either genre. Take the first track, “Imagistic Continuity”. While it is a lovely, meditative, and immersive song, it’s not deep enough to drown in. That song, like the others, lacks the tension between chaos and beauty that so beautifully drives post-rock. Yet, A Picture of a Picture is no better as an ambient album—as the synths swell and swell, any nuance in the arrangement gets lost, leaving listeners without a beautiful melody in which to revel. “Loss of Perspective” is the most interesting song this disc offers up; there is drama in the soundscape, and it ebbs and flows between more placid moments. “Negative Space” is a bit too similar to “Imagistic Continuity” and offers little to retain interest. The closing song, 20-minute “Horizon Line” continues in the tradition of “Imagistic Continuity” and “Negative Space”, slowly building an overwhelming expanse that never quite earns the drama it tries to manifest. Overall, the album will be a pleasant sleeping album for casual ambient fans, but connoisseurs of the genre best look elsewhere for their fix.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/73865-aidan-baker-thisquietarmy-a-picture-of-a-picture/