In the past, Typhoon has produced a hodgepodge of music, often cramming in a cascade of emotions and styles into their EPs. Their new album, White Lighter, is no exception to this rule. The album is just begging to be quirky, yet dark enough to be loved. Which is unfortunate because with a more dedicated sound, White Lighter could be a strong contender for the best of Typhoon’s discography.
The opening duo of Prelude and Artificial Light are quite good, though the album could do without the 17 second long Prelude and just skip into the meat of Artificial Light. 17 second intro tracks are both awkward and generally awful. Artificial Light experiments with a much more modern sound than any other Typhoon track that comes to mind and this is delightful, adding in an element of chaos that bolsters the emotional topics of the rest of the album.
Young Fathers reflects the major issue with the album as a whole, the meaningful chaos seen in Artificial Light devolves into a mindless hurricane of juxtaposed styles and messages. In short, it is not easy to follow and is just a bit too “indie quirky” to make a viable effect on the listener. Morton’s Fork is the other side of the coin that is White Lighter. The track is straight-forward and delightfully quirky rather than painfully quirky. It reflects a refined feel of what Typhoon has put out in the past. Possible Deaths takes the refined elements of Morton’s Fork and improves upon them, adding in the glorious dichotomy that Typhoon does best. While the band deals in religious themes, they place these themes next to science, proving to be both poignant and insightful.
The Lake brings back a return to the flirtation with a modern sound that was present in Artificial Light. The track is tranquil to begin with and grows catchy as it approaches the more modern sound. Which is the sort of dramatic shift that completely washes away the bad taste of Young Fathers from earlier. Dreams of Cannibalism continues in the catchy nature of the track before it, but it is much more generic and does not stand out much.
100 Years introduces an odd mix to the album. It continues with the quirkiness, but it also experiments with a grunge feel as well as some trippy Pink Floyd-ish effects. The track has a heavy, driving beat but it is almost too much. Prosthetic Love has the same generic feel as Dreams of Cannibalism, though this allows for the lyrics to stand out, which is a bit unfortunate given that they are not as catching as some of the other tracks that Typhoon has done. Hunger and Thirst immediately remedies the hole of expectations left by the prior two songs. Caesar is another one of those pesky short songs, so not much can be said other than that the lyrics are amusing and meaningful.
Common Sentiment follows in the Typhoon tradition of having a handful of decent songs at the start of an album followed by one or two powerful and driving songs. It is both meaningful with that dash of chaos that defines the band. Post Script is much slower, and saturated with messages and meaning. It contrasts with the rest of the album, which is generally chaotic, and is the hot tub after a day at a water park.
Due to the scattered approach to the songs on the album, White Lighter has problems. While this is to be expected from Typhoon as a whole, the whole experience comes together nicely in the end with enough meaning and entertainment from the power-hitters of the album to gloss over the tracks that are less than enjoyable. 3.5/5