Eliot Lipp – Come to Life [Album Review]
Eliot Lipp is no stranger when it comes to intricately interwoven digital and analog sound design, making complex, textured arrangements seem like a breeze. The veteran producer, who’s been part of the Pretty Lights Music family for a while now, just released his ninth studio album Come To Life.
The 12-track musical journey is a particularly poignant album for Lipp, having helped keep him sane during a hard time in his life. As he further notes in the video explaining the process behind the record, most of the tracks came together over the course of a single inspired weekend, which gives a wonderful stream-of-consciousness sort of progression to the songs individually and the album as a whole.
With that in consideration, the number of different approaches Lipp took with the songs is impressive. It is eclectic, yet manages to stay level and consistently balanced, juggling spacey analog synths and acoustic drums and instruments. He ranges from simple, mellow rhythms and ambient, introspective dispositions to some slightly heavy analog funk and everything in between, resulting in a sound that is right at home on PLM.
Starting out, “The Entrance” has elements of funk, though mellowed out and with subtle foreboding overtones. Lipp runs with the carefree theme, continuing it in “Low Key,” which exudes easy-going impressions not unlike some of the classic instrumentals of mid-2000s RJD2.
Transitioning from that feeling can sometimes be harsh, but Lipp does so smoothly in “Drunk Walk” by subtly integrating spatial elements, like the vocals in the breakdowns, that bring about deeper, pensive themes. These themes are explored further in “Not Quite Awake,” which gently nudges the listener into more funky rhythms and melodies.
Lipp begins to venture into some heavier, more hectic territory with “Memory Loss,” and steadily builds that energy in “Til The End.”
He takes a brief interlude with “Tracker,” slowing things down for an easy-going feeling, before returning to the driving energy and high-caliber bass in “You Think.”
“Ultra” keeps the bassline grooving but brings back some ethereal aspects with acoustic piano and breathy female vocal lines. Atmospheric ambience continue to take greater prominence, going almost into the realm of indie electronic with “In.”
To finish it off, Lipp leaves the real world behind in the last two tracks, nonchalantly touring through ambient spaces in “Up,” and even going so far as to take on an M83-esque sound with the final track, “Come to Life.”