Review- “(disambiguation)”- AA Wallace

disambiguationreviewed by Michael Thomas

For an album’s worth of “bedroom disco” music, Halifax musician AA Wallace sure does a hell of a lot. (disambiguation) covers a wide range of both song themes and musical textures that will keep the avid listener well interested.

The “bedroom disco” label applies well to the album opener, a groovy tune called “Offline.” Spacey synths and the smooth touch of a drum machine propel this song forward as Wallace sings about “goin’ offline all night.” The song strikes an ironic tone with its theme of trying to escape from technology, if just for one night.

The album has two musical interludes, the first being the creepily-named “Post-Mortem Depression.” The electronics in this song feel colder in terms of sound, mimicking the coldness that accompanies death. The other interlude is “Complaining About Airports,” which happens a few songs later. This one features a distorted vocal sample over a wash of synthesizer and drum machine.

Wallace explores the lines between dreams and reality in “Feels to Real.” “We’re too old to feel this young/But I’m never givin’ up on you,” begins the song, with the beat taking on a more industrial sound this time around. “Du What U Wunt” is a little more ambient, with lots of “oohs” blanketing the first 30 seconds before Wallace’s vocals come in.

What does lipstick have to do with stethoscopes? Who knows, but “Lipsticks & Stethoscopes” is one of the album’s strongest tracks with Wallace going into his upper register of vocals alongside another disco-esque beat. It’s immediately followed by another excellent track, “Temporal Suspension,” which features a nice build of electronics in the beginning. The track deals with the theme of knowing and not knowing, featuring lines like “I do not believe that the truth exists in solid black and white” and the hook “I don’t believe in anything that does not believe in me.”

“This Can Heal” ends off the album on a slightly softer note, making it a nice way to draw the album to the finish line. The touch of piano at the beginning of the song is nice for a song that seems to be about starting over. “I tore myself apart to see if I still feel/Reset and restart, this can heal,” Wallace sings. So perhaps starting all over can be a physical process, too.

(disambiguation) will be available May 7 via Acadian Embassy.

Top Tracks: “Lipstick & Stethoscopes”; “Temporal Suspension”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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