Mind Full

Leisure Centre

HopeStreet Recordings, 2018


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Mind Full is one cheeky album. At first, this debut record by Melbourne, Australia’s Leisure Centre comes across as rather inelegant – a kind of chaotic mishmash of hip hop, jazz, and R&B that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the way that these ingredients are put together. The cuts here are very much children of the acid jazz genre, made solely up of elements of disco, funk, jazz, and soul. Tying all of this together is the most striking aspect of this album: the drum programming. The ensuing beats are crazy, have their own personality, and oftentimes seem at odds with the rest of the music on any track. This certainly makes things interesting but also peculiar because it makes the music sound messy.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Take, for example, the pleasant and ethereal “Something Better,” which has some cool beats. But these beats have a weird lagging effect, as if they are slowly sinking into a sinkhole and dragging the rest of the music with them, making everything sound goofier than it should be. Or the title number, which has a part where the beats stutter like a firing machine gun, which seems like an awkward segue for this otherwise gentle and serene cut. It is not just the drum beats but also the song arrangements that are seldom straightforward or predictable.

The first impressions of Mind Full might not be very promising because of how effectively it takes a music combination that is inherently smooth and relaxing and turns it on its head, making it sound very different, and more importantly, not so smooth or relaxing.

But once you get to know the disc better, you realize the sophistication that went into every little bit of kookiness it has to offer, and the initial confusion becomes a totally fun listening experience. This record is melodic and catchy, but it is also bold enough to be challenging so that it doesn’t just give what it has away to the listener so easily.

Mind Full is impressive as it is. But the way that Leisure Centre has pushed boundaries by daring to mess with meditatively calm songs that are great to begin with by making them sound unexpectedly crazy makes this debut even more impressive.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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