Jun25th

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Let’s get one thing out of the way: Gloss Drop shouldn’t really be compared to its predecessor, Mirrored. The sole Battles record to feature Tyondai Braxton’s digitally cartoonified vocals, Mirrored is now consigned to brilliant one-off status in the Battles catalog; Gloss Drop, created after Braxton left the group entirely, is more of a refinement and expansion of Battles’ early work. In a way, for fans, the loss of Braxton was the best thing that could have happened to Battles. It meant they couldn’t record a true follow up, which might then pale (or just come off as more of the same) next to one of the most distinctive and unexpected debut LPs of the 21st century. Battles could have recorded an all-instrumental album in the Mirrored mold, or they could have drafted in another singer to try and imitate Braxton’s crucial contribution. Instead, they forced themselves, having lost their most immediately striking and divisive element, to move in a new and potentially radical direction. So the important questions with Gloss Drop become, “Is this new direction interesting?” and “Have Battles made it thrilling?”

- pitchfork.com

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