Album Review: Little Dragon - Ritual Union
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Recently released Ritual Union, is the third album by Swedish electronic band Little Dragon. Allegedly named after lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s fiery tantrums in the recording studio, Little Dragon has been making music since 1996. Ritual Union is a seemingly more simplistic and paired-down album compared to their previous sweeping electronic backdrops and epic instrumentation on self titled debut Little Dragon released in 2007 and 2009’s Machine Dreams. It takes a more of a minimalist approach, with the newly released title track relying heavily on an electronic baseline that is tapped neatly out on the keyboard. This ostinato is nevertheless successfully catchy, and fits well underneath Nagano’s sensually breathy but sweetly simple vocals. The album is produced excellently; balancing the percussive element well as it scuttles around underneath the layers of audio, minutely whispering its presence and getting under your skin. However, this means that the music’s quality and intricate nature can only really be appreciated through higher calibre headphones. Through normal-average-Joe-poor-student speakers it’s a shame to say that Ritual Union is enjoyed best as background music. Very good background music, but still background music. Not lift music though, that would just be insulting.
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