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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Erich Mrak

See You In September (A Visual)

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new "visual" from Erich Mrak. In the classic days of MTV (remember when they used to be "music television?") this would have been called a music video. However, it includes two songs, rather than one like most music videos. That video itself seems incomprehensible to me in terms of what it's about. Although, perhaps addiction is part of the puzzle. It seems to follow the lead making his way to a drug buy, and then afterward his life seems to spiral into chaos. That said, it looks more like slice of life than anything seriously dramatic or crazed. I have previously reviewed the two songs that make up this video as singles. It seems appropriate to use those reviews here for the sake of consistency.

The first piece is "Navigate," and this is what I had to say about that song:

"The electronic groove on this cut seems a bit low-energy to qualify as electronic dance music. Still, this occupies a lot of similar territory to that style. In some ways it makes me think of experimental electronic sounds of artists like Laurie Anderson, too. This is accessible and entertaining, but also a bit strange. That strangeness is more a charm of the piece than any sort of criticism, though."

The second number in the video is "Riptide," and I had this to say about it:

"Mellow keyboard tones lead this out of the gate. The cut gets rhythmic elements added bring more of a modern pop element. The vocals come in with a subtly processed sound. They get more processed further down the road. At times that processing reaches the point of distracting annoyance. I know that there are people who expect that kind of thing in modern pop, but to those who like to hear actual voices, it's a great way to ruin a song."

Mind you, it doesn't seem that the full songs are included in this "visual." All the singles being released have been said to be building to an EP, so we'll see if he winds up with more "visuals" all assembling into some larger video work. It should be noted that this is strictly a digital release.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

 
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