Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Yves Tumor’s successful experiment

Their fifth studio album experiments with sound and samples
Photo courtesy of the Yves Tumor official Facebook page

Yves Tumor’s fifth studio album, released this week, sits on the shoulders of their previous work. “Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)” feels like an artistic advancement from their 2020 album, “Heaven to a Tortured Mind,” which gained Tumor a large following and pushed them further into the mainstream. Learning from earlier, more experimental releases, Tumor has shaped their sound to create a genre bending masterpiece.

Tumor’s style, persona and catalogue to date is one of a kind. The album feels refreshing, as it is distinctly outside of the box, yet distinctly Yves Tumor. Produced by Warp Records, known in part for Brian Eno, Aphex Twin and Danny Brown, the 12-track album has a runtime of a succinct 37 minutes. The individual songs are cohesive, but never repetitive.

Each song weaves new elements into the album, with central themes running throughout. Multiple influences seem to have been taken and re-molded to fit the vision of the artist. The instrumentals are always expertly layered, creating a depth of sound listeners who prefer easier listening may not appreciate. The lyricism is a rich, creating images of light and dark, God and the Devil.

The album opens with “God Is a Circle,” and the lines: “Sometimes, it feels like / There’s places in my mind that I can’t go / There’s people in my life I still don’t know, yeah.” The lyrical tenderness is contrasted by a rhythm that could be upbeat enough to dance to, if the song felt just a little less gothic. Either way, there is energy waiting to escape, setting the tone for the rest of the album.

Track two, “You’re still a friend of mine,” continues with this sentimentality. Tumor uses another one of the dozen voices he’s known for, which makes them seem like a feature on their own album. The song samples “One Hundred Years” by The Cure, released in 1982.

The next track, “Meteora Blues,” sampling “Cup of Dreams,” begins with light guitar strumming and transforms into a tribute to 90s punk rock. I’m reminded of “Zero” by The Smashing Pumpkins. Tumor’s exceptional vocal range and capabilities are once again put on display.

By the fifth track, “Parody,” I realized the lyrics might be telling a story throughout the album, although I’m still trying to piece together what it might be. The lines, “Imagine the thrill / When we couldn’t find our way back” capture the feeling of being pleasantly lost in the consequences of irrevocable decisions. Other notable tracks include “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood” and “Echolalia,” both of which utilize audio of people talking in the background. This style is  reminiscent of Tumor’s contribution, “Limerence,” to the 2017 compilation album “Mono No Aware.”

“Praise” is polished but still built out of unbridled sound and emotion. It is impossible to fully categorize or contain­­ it — perhaps it is meant to be chewed but not consumed, as the album is named.

Jack Burns can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *