Stef Chura – Midnight review

Secret Meeting score: 73

by Philip Moss

Much has been made of Will Toledo taking on production duties on Midnight, and the Car Seat Headrest man’s pinkies can be felt across the entire collection. Opener, All I Do is Lie, has the trademark Toldeo overdriven guitars, while also bringing Courtney Barnett to mind on this tale of patriarchal romance. And the arrangement choices across the album bear more than a little influence from Toldeo’s rock opera, Twin Fantasy – as songs seemingly come to their conclusion, before kicking starting back up; the issue being that the refrains do often feel tagged on and are in subordinate to the main body of the track.

Another influence that comes to mind on more tracks than not is Karen O. Shura’s delivery has more than a hint of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s front woman – particularly when she let’s rip on Scream. By far the best moment on offer here is the single, Sweet Sweet Midnight, which is also the most tuneful and full realised composition. While ironically, the other choice cut comes in the form of Trumbull. Sadly though, it’s only one minute and 17 seconds long and ends before it develops into the beautiful moment it feels it could.

Method Man‘s jaunty aggression offers very little in the way of pleasure, but more pop orientated songs such as Jumpin’ Jack and and Sincerely Yours offer more in the way of balance regarding melody and feist. Midnight is by no means an easy listen, but don’t assume that a bad thing – because, despite its flaws, it is strangely addictive. And, given time, it does offer some rewards.

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