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Artist: Experimental Audio Research Album: Worn to a Shadow

Year: 2005
Duration: 24:20

Worn to a Shadow: A Critical Review of Experimental Audio Research's Album

Experimental Audio Research or E.A.R, as it is popularly known, was founded by Sonic Boom, the former member of the British Psychedelic rock band, Spacemen 3. E.A.R. is an experimental music project focused on exploring the possibilities of sound manipulation through a combination of electronic and acoustic elements. In 1994, Sonic Boom released the album Worn to a Shadow under the E.A.R. project. In this blog, we will be reviewing this album, discussing the music genre, the best songs, the innovative parts, and providing a critical analysis of the album as a whole.

The album Worn to a Shadow's sound can be described as a blend of drone, ambient, and experimental music. The album's overall sound is characterized by a distinct use of electronic and acoustic instruments, creating a haunting and eerie soundscape. The album's theme is about exploring the complexities of contemporary life, talking about love, loss, and isolation.

The album is relatively short, less than an hour recorded in eight tracks, each track blending smoothly into the next, creating an immersive and connected listening experience. The best songs on the album will ultimately depend on personal preference, but the tracks that stand out are Mesmerized in Vein, Farewell Symphony, and Pulse Study A. Mesmerized in Vein is a hypnotic track that uses droning feedback-like sounds, creating a sense of tension and unease. Farewell Symphony is a more calming, meditative track that explores the mood of letting go. Pulse Study A is a track that uses harmonic vocals and rich acoustic textures to create a dreamlike and immersive listening experience.

One of the album's most innovative elements is its use of feedback. Sonic Boom created a unique style of feedback that's not harsh or ear-piercing but instead a dense low-level hum that brings depth and texture to the album's sound. This feedback is used effectively in tracks like Mesmerized in Vein and Endless Circulation.

The album, however, has some shortcomings. The production quality is subpar; the album was recorded on a 4-track cassette recorder, limiting its sound quality. While this gives the album a lo-fi aesthetic, it also limits the music's dynamic range and overall sonic fidelity. In addition to this, some tracks tend to drag on for too long, leading to monotony and affecting the pacing of the album.

Worn to a Shadow is an album that encompasses the essence of Experimental Audio Research's sound. It explores the possibilities of sound manipulation in the ambient, drone, and experimental music genres, creating a unique and immersive listening experience. The best tracks on the album are Mesmerized in Vein, Farewell Symphony, and Pulse Study A, and the most innovative element of the album is its use of feedback. While the album has its shortcomings, such as the production quality and pacing, it's a great addition to anyone's experimental music collection.