Jazz | Alternative
First off, I would like to start this review with an apology for my absence. Along with me having a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride these past few weeks, there hadn’t been many commercial albums that I had really wanted to try and review in recent memory. But with that being said, this Friday brought some interesting projects to my attention, and I am finally ready to keep reviewing once more.
And with that in mind, I felt that there was no better way to continue, than by reviewing an album from an artist who relates somewhat to the previous project I had reviewed; that being Jordan Rakei’s Late Night Tales album.
There are a few small reasons why I make this comparison; the first, and most obvious, is that jazz musician and producer Alfa Mist featured on that record, being the driving force behind its second single “Mulago”. The second is more personal to me, which is that I basically ended up discovering Alfa Mist through Jordan Rakei.
It was after I became a fan of Jordan Rakei, through his 2019 album Origin, that I discovered the Alfa Mist single “Door”, which featured a vocal performance from Jordan Rakei, on some form of discovery playlist. I absolutely adored the gorgeously nocturnal and progressive atmosphere that “Door” had to offer. But more so than just a gorgeous track, it was also the closing single of Mist’s third album, 2019’s Structuralism. Two years, and two albums later, I have finally decided to venture into my first proper introductory project from Alfa Mist, in the form of his brand new album Bring Backs.
In the lead-up to the fifth album from Alfa Mist (as well as another project I will be reviewing soon), I actually caught up on all of the teaser tracks prior to the release of Bring Backs, and enjoyed the individual moods that the three of them portrayed.
Upon the full release of Bring Backs, the project as a whole kind of validated my subtle belief that there was a somewhat mellow and urban vibe, kind of reminiscent to King Krules work, and this especially showed in tracks like “Mind The Gap” and “Run Outs”. I feel that if this kind of vibe was pursued completely on Bring Backs, it would’ve made for an incredibly strong project in terms of its consistency. However, the mellow vibe that these tracks brought were counterbalanced somewhat, with the vibrant, more contemporary jazz sounds of tracks like “Teki” and “Attune”.
And while I can definitely say that the best of what Bring Backs has to offer, in regards to its tracks, does both aesthetics justice, I feel that there wasn’t enough space for either of them to be really fleshed-out, as the care and attention obviously had to be divided between the two. I can definitely appreciate the versatility of moods that Alfa Mist was trying to approach with this project, but it resulted in a somewhat clumpy narrative, where that sense of depth or oomph is slightly lacking.
Looking back on previous project that Alfa Mist has conceived, I do feel that there is a certain charm that they carry, as a result of having a clearer vision behind them. And while Bring Backs definitely has a good selection of enjoyable moments to choose from, the vision behind how it stands as a full album feels a little blurred.
Favourite Tracks: Teki | Run Outs | Attune
Least Favourite Track: Coasting
Enjoyment: 7/10 | Memorability: 5/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10
Uniqueness: 6/10 | Satisfaction: 6/10 | Narrative: 5/10