December 11, 2011

Kyle Bobby Dunn - Ways of Meaning

Ambient music is sort of one of those genres that can either make me lose interest pretty fast, or enthrall me completely and make me wish the sounds coming through my ears could somehow be received at a higher level. Sometimes it even depends on the setting I'm in. If I could, I would have listened to this album for the first time on an airplane, just as it was floating over the clouds, but alas. The best I could do was a late night drive through the city. I can't say that's the right mood that this album captures, but it made a difference, if only slightly.

Ways of Meaning is the follow up to Kyle Bobby Dunn's 2010 release 'A Young Person's Guide to Kyle Bobby Dunn', which I probably should have given a higher score now that I think about it, because I listened to quite a bit of ambient/drone music after that, and that album is among the best I've heard so far. This album is more or less the same sort of stuff that was going on on that record, although definitely simplified and toned down. Where 'A Young Person's Guide' varied with each track, some of the songs on Ways of Meaning sound awfully similar. I guess you could say it's more of an album as a whole, rather than an album with individual songs where you can point out each song by a defining characteristic. With this one, you just sort of play the whole thing, and absorb everything at once. Although the track Canyon Meadows is the one track that is pretty distinct among the rest, and it ended up being my favorite track here. The track I felt really bored of though was Movement for the Completely Fucked, even though it had a slightly darker atmosphere, like New Pures.

Another difference with this album is that each song has a reoccurring melody, or just simply a few chords that just repeat throughout the whole song, whereas his previous release was full of constantly changing melodies and ideas. I'm not saying that these tracks are boring though, in fact the ones that did have distinct chord progressions seemed the most interesting to me.

Although I generally enjoyed listening to Ways of Meaning, it didn't grab me like A Young Person's Guide did. While the atmosphere and intricacy is still completely there, ambition and ideas are lacking.


1. Dropping Sandwiches (In Chester Lake)
2. Statuit
3. Canyon Meadows
4. New Pures
5. Movement for the Completely Fucked
6. Touhy's Theme

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