Trágame Tierra

Album Review of Trágame Tierra by Big Black Delta.

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Trágame Tierra

Big Black Delta

Trágame Tierra by Big Black Delta

Release Date: Apr 22, 2016
Record label: Masters of Bates
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock

65 Music Critic Score
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Trágame Tierra - Fairly Good, Based on 4 Critics

Slant Magazine - 80
Based on rating 4.0/5
80

A Spanish-language expression of exasperation informs the title of Big Black Delta's Trágame Tierra. So it's a bit of a surprise to discover that the album itself is rife with crisp beats, bubbly synths, and big, bright major chords. Surprising, that is, if the album's opening track, the ironically titled “H.A.,” doesn't tip you off to Mellowdrone singer/bassist Jonathan Bates's cheeky sense of humor: “A house without the roof/A tree without the fruit…A heart without the chest,” he croons atop a lullaby-baby melody and flurry of digital swirls.

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Drowned In Sound - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

After getting bored of the limitations of conventional bands, Jonathan Bates decided he didn’t need a band to create the music in his head. He got a laptop, loaded it with programmes and software and started making music under the name Big Black Delta. His early releases ran that thin line between experimental noise and pop mastery. Last year, Bates decided he was bored of the limitations of conventional music structure and decided to fund his next album himself.

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Consequence of Sound - 51
Based on rating C
51

In the music biz, there is no escaping your past. In some cases, that’s a good thing; artists regularly flaunt past triumphs when promoting new projects. It can also be a detriment — perhaps there’s a reason JC Chasez’s solo career never took off after NSYNC (aside from not actually being Justin Timberlake.) For Jonathan Bates, though, it’s a mixed blessing.

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Pitchfork - 47
Based on rating 4.7/10
47

As a descriptor, "electronic music" is pretty expansive; at a time when nearly all music is produced with the aid of computers, it’s also fairly meaningless. Still, if you attempted to take stock of everything that could be fairly placed under that tent, you might start with experimental music, move through dance music’s various permutations and end up at the sort of post-Postal Service pop you’d expect to hear in a car commercial. Trágame Tierra, the latest full-length from Mellowdrone frontman and touring M83 member Jonathan Bates, feels like just such a survey of all things "electronic.

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