Posted on August 14th, 2015 (3:00 pm) by Noveen Bajpai

Morning World is the latest effort by Teen Daze, the project of British-Columbia based producer Jamison. Having been pegged as everything from chill wave to ambient to atmospheric rock, Teen Daze is at his best when opting to build mood and momentum with driving-beats and sun-soaked synthesizers.

Unlike 2013’s Glacier or the ambient EP A World Away which was dropped earlier this year, Morning World comes off as an album produced distinctly from an indie-rock perspective---the distorted, minimalist vocals and unspoken narratives of primarily instrumental electronic music are noticeably absent here. In turn, with lyrical content taking up more space than ever, the latest iteration of Teen Daze is less like the downtempo, ambient rock of Tycho and more like the dreamy electropop you might expect to hear from Youth Lagoon or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. On “Pink,” the crunchy guitars and full-band setup serve less as a testament to Jamison’s versatility than to his definite standing as an artist that makes primarily electronic music--- its an awkward take on a familiar indie-rock sound, and one that comes to encapsulate the shortcomings of Morning World on the whole.

Some of the LP’s best moments come on “You Said,” a funky track that features a prominent bassline and pulsating synths. Danceable and lighthearted, “You Said” is noticeably devoid of lyrics, a trait which is significant considering how lyrical content functions as more of a fulcrum on Morning World than on previous Teen Daze releases. Without the vocal distortion and dreamy filtering that has come to define his discography, Jamison's vocals often dangle bare, proving to be points of distraction and annoyance rather than tools for creating thematic cohesion and directing mood. Take “Along” for example, another track with a delicious bassline that creeps along for ninety seconds before being sabotaged by a lackluster vocal, one that, after some reflection, sounds oddly similar to the vocal melody on “Echoes,” the legendary Pink Floyd song off Meddle that is undeniably the best track ever recorded to mention an Albatross.

In fact, throughout the album, Jamison tends toward asking questions that are clichéd—on the album's closing number, "Good Night," Jamison ponders “where does love go?/never to be seen again". Likewise, on the slow-building “Post Storm,” Jamison unironically asks where life goes "when it's done?” While the lazy, reverb heavy guitar romp does well to evoke images of sunlight and its triumphant return to a battered landscape, "Post Storm," like the rest of the album, is diminished by trite naturalist notions and worn-out ruminations on life, death, and love.

With scenes of storms, gardens, valleys, and the ocean peppered throughout, Morning World succeeds in evoking pleasant imagery where it fails to provide enduring moments of musical quality. It's a sincere attempt at creating an album with conceptual saliency, but one that ultimately feels unengaging and bogged down by its heavy handed lyrical content. Pleasant yet forgettable, Teen Daze’s most recent LP feels like the work of an artist that would have been better off sticking to the beaten path than meandering through the woods unguided.

Track List:

  1. Valley of Gardens
  2. Pink
  3. Morning World
  4. It Starts at the Water
  5. Post Storm
  6. Life In the Sea
  7. You Said
  8. Garden Grove
  9. Along
  10. Infinity
  11. Goodnight
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

55 / 100
© Inyourspeakers Media LLC