The Avalanches have always relied on other people’s music to showcase their creative vision. At their best, they deploy samples with unique poise (see all of their near-perfect debut), and utilise unlikely guest features (about half of their 2016 comeback Wildflower) to create a topsy-turvy world of melting genre boundaries and bizarro hooks.
The group’s new album, alas, is far from their best. Clocking in at 25 tracks and featuring almost as many guests, We Will Always Love You feels like a bloated Hollywood blockbuster, its high-profile cast trying to make up for a substantial lack of ideas.
Supposedly inspired by the romance between scientists Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan, We Will Always Love You drifts aimlessly through vague love songs with equally vague titles, only occasionally bumping into a hit. Despite the calibre of talent on this record – Neneh Cherry, Blood Orange, Rivers Cuomo, Denzel Curry and Karen O, to name just a few – the tracks all sound uncannily similar, awash with twinkling synths and “spacey” treated vocals. The Avalanches may be reaching for the stars with this album but We Will Always Love You rarely gets to cloud height.
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