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Posted on November 11th, 2014 (3:00 pm) by Andy Belt

“One more night in this place, I can’t sleep,” sings Philip Selway on “Let It Go,” the third track from his second solo studio outing, Weatherhouse. Funny, as most of the tracks from this record make us want to do just that. Selway bottles the ethereality of later Radiohead (his main project), minus the ghostly, enrapturing vocals of Thom Yorke, and instead leaves us with bleak outlines that could use some livening up. Though completely palatable, Weatherhouse is often a one-note foray into sleepy ambience that could afford to be injected with some adrenaline or edginess.

It might be Yorke that’s the frontman for Radiohead, but the drummer sure can sing. Selway has the delivery of a refined British gentleman with his flowery accent blooming in full (always pleasant to American ears). However, at times, Selway’s stoic voice fuses with the monochromatic backdrops, and it’s easy to lose one in the other, or to not care about either.

Though some of the compositions may drag, at least the percussion is rarely dull - and how could it be boring? Lest we forget, this guy’s main job is producing beats for one of this generation’s seminal rock bands. The gears on the cover of the album are a fitting allegory for the clockwork nature of Weatherhouse. Most tracks sound mechanical, and like a factory operating in perfect unison. The verses of opener, “Coming Up For Air,” arguably the most menacing track here, thrive on the tension in the echoing bass drum hits and rim clicks that reverberate as if they were recorded inside of a subterranean cave. “Coming Up For Air” strikes the odd balance of earthy, yet completely man-made.

Somewhat later is when the background musicality of Weatherhouse begins to set in. “Miles Away” drifts by and lets you float away from its grasp instead of slapping (or even nudging) you awake. Drab tones blend, making most of the melodies and “riffs” indistinguishable from one another. The soporific, marimba-laden “Drawn To The Light” is too boring even for elevator muzak.

The good news: if you’re in dire need of lullabies, Weatherhouse should do the trick! If you’re into Radiohead, it may be worth checking out Selway’s work away from the band. However, you’re better off waiting for their next studio album. As the pulse for Radiohead, Selway has always kept us on our toes with whatever direction they choose to go in next; here, he just puts us to bed.

Track Listing:

  • Coming Up for Air
  • Around Again
  • Let It Go
  • Miles AwayGhosts
  • It Will End in Tears
  • Don't Go Now
  • Drawn to the Light
  • Waiting for a Sign
  • Turning It Inside Out
  • Philip Selway - Weatherhouse Review
    Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

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