It's good to have them back, if only for the promise of the next album.
The Velvet Teen proved their flexibility with their first three albums, fitting plenty of ideas into three protean albums, mixing indie rock and piano ballads with glitchy electronic sounds. It's been nine years since their last full-length record, and despite everything that's happened since then, it's not surprising that they'd have plenty to throw at the wall. Unfortunately, it's often too much.
The band's sound – when not pushing too far toward the icy – tends to be busy on All Is Illusory. At its best, as on the exuberant track “Pecos”, the band probably pulls it off. The album mixes this ambition with calculated gloss like “The Veil Between” that never takes off and, on a disjointed album, lacks the weight for emotional impact. Despite the problems on this release, the Velvet Teen show their energy, and it's good to have them back, if only for the promise of the next album.