LVMA MUSIC INC.
Illusion Pool marks Adam Miller’s second solo album to date since his departure from the American electronic band, Chromatics. Differing from his first release, this EP is the first release of Miller’s where the vocals are a main focus. The result is a collection of songs that progress from dark and foreboding, to melancholic and hopeful, offering an overall listening experience that successfully represents Miller’s capabilities as a solo artist.
The album kicks off with the title track “Illusion Pool” immediately grabbing the listener’s attention with a captivating melody, combined with a momentous rhythmic intro. Miller introduces a conflict in the subtleties of this performance, seemingly initiating the start of an electronic journey. The EP immediately takes a darker turn with its middle tracks, establishing an overwhelming sense of gloom and angst. This is especially present in the only cover present on the release, David Crosby’s “Everybody’s Been Burned”. The ominous chugging of the rhythm guitar creates a dark undertone that is met with a foreboding melody, offering an intriguing sonic balance that electrifies the darkness of the track.
The EP seems to naturally progress in mood, adopting a melancholic tone near the end which contrasts nicely with the darkness found in the middle. The EP falters slightly on the track “Camera”, where the vocals are heavily draped in autotune. This feels like an unnecessary production choice as Miller’s natural tone of voice suits the tone of the album. The choice to cover it up feels inappropriate. Luckily, it does not severely diminish the overall quality of the album. The final track “Vincent” is an instrumental performance that is lighter, a driving guitar riff gliding upon an electronic wave to transport the listener out of the darkness. This breath of fresh air caps of the album nicely, completing a relatively dark journey through Smith’s psyche and offering a glimmer of hope in its climax.
Overall, Miller succeeds in providing an EP that remains faithful to his electronic roots. The dynamic musical journey is a progression that feels natural, and ultimately provides for an enjoyable listening experience.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: ADAM MILLER – ILLUSION POOL