In many ways this album is a reviewers dream. Normally the job revolves around a battle of time and energy, wit and wordplay to tease the original properties out of the music before you which, by and large, has left big and obvious footprints back through musical history, plundering freely and not so much bringing anything new to the table, more just shuffling the contents of the table around a bit.
Equinox’s collection of music not only completely restocks the table, but then places the table in an unlikely place, such as on a cliff edge or in a cellar, lays it on its side and sprays it with strange hues and subtle patterns. And a collection of music it is rather than an album in the sense most people would envisage it, spoken word pieces musing on the human condition, mortality, love and death – dark thoughts put to music which is used to help communicate the emotion, capture the feeling, hold the essence of the subject being explored.
Some tracks are more obscure or obtuse in their dealing with the emotion or thought at hand, tracks like Goodbye or the Vince Clarke collaboration Goodnight Vienna opts more for painting emotive pictures through half heard words, brooding keyboards and creepy electronica, others, Don’t Die On Me, leave nothing to the imagination, its electro-funk grooves wonderfully at odds with the subject at hand. The there are tracks such as Mule which leave you scratching your head with one hand and hitting replay with the other.
It is an album which has no bounds, the music is as diverse and myriad as to give the feeling of a mix tape or a compilation album from a cultish record label, but it is the lyrics which really form the cohesion, direct, often dark, philosophical and challenging. It is honest rather than bleak, soul bearing rather than tortured, confessional instead of contrived. It matches musical light with lyrical shade and for that the album works.