Skip navigation

Following in the footsteps of their previous album, Louisiana-based duo Belong have recently released their sophomore album entitled Common Era on Kranky (home to an impressive array of influential musically like-minded artists).

Belong is most widely known for creating an album called October Language in ’06 released on a small label dubbed Car Park Records. That album continues to be a defining staple in ambient music today, and although not strictly ambient by any sense of the word, it did push boundaries in what the genre could be described as.

October Language remains a very strong, perhaps defiant sounding record with heavily washed out and sometimes possessing a near apocalyptic-level of corrosiveness, often retreating from that level of noise to a distantly surreal and almost lonely flurry of ambient noise. It remains one of my all time favorite records to this day.

At first, I was hesitant to write about Common Era. When I had first listened to it all the way through, it was obviously immediately noticeable that some things had changed from the iconic album before it. I wasn’t disappointed with it – I think it’s great that artists try to improve themselves through the way their music sounds as they continue to create different things.

I was hesitant mainly because I needed time to digest. It’s markedly easier to listen to over October Language where some people might be turned off to somewhat harsh ambient noise rocking across their headphones, but the addition of drums as a prominent musical instrument surprised me. After all this time “digesting” though, I’ve come to discover that they’re not a turn off and it’s somewhat of a pleasant surprise.

Whereas their first record was heavily aimed into the shoegaze direction, this album doesn’t quite venture as far down that path. Yes, it sports minor vocal work (“A Walk”, “Perfect Life”, “Keep Still”, et cetera), but it’s not aggressive, it’s not very prominently featured, and it certainly doesn’t try to force it as the centerpiece of the record.

Common Era may or may not blow your mind (perhaps at least not as much as Belong’s previous work did), but it is nevertheless a very solid, very well thought-out, and decisively written album that does manage to effectively pull off an enjoyable and rewarding listening experience.

To learn more about the artist, visit the following resources:

Last.fm

Discogs

Kranky

Buy this release at:

Kranky

Amazon

Download.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s