Before this gets too snarky, I’ll screen for potential fans. See, Apar will appeal to a handful or two of people. If you answer yes to more than one of the following questions: please don’t finish this review, go buy the album, and stop inviting me to Facebook events.
1. Have you ever attended a seminar on aligning your chakras using your cellphone?
2. Do you refer to yourself as a “free spirit,” and/or have any dolphin tattoos?
3. Do you like foam/froth more than armadillos?
(Yes? Hey look! The album art is textural and vaguely organic! And those trendy ritualistic symbols? Go fill your ears with froth!)
Bland and inconsequential, Delorean is lauded as one of the “indie rock” bands that hopped on the club/dance music trend. Good for them. Apar harkens chillwave, mellow singing over cheery filler, a smear of atmosphere. The choral effects (rampant) and faux saxophone (“You Know It’s Right” ?!?!) are neither divine nor soulful. Referencing token sounds is a way to pose commentary, but can’t stand in for the real thing.
The folks at Pitchfork made some off-hand comments about ‘Apar’ meaning ‘froth’ in Basque, and how all the music journalists would scramble to find synonyms. And then offer their favorite one, to show they know the big picture, yet aren’t totally above it. But I did some googling and found out that an ‘apar’ is a South American armadillo, with three bands of bony plates, no less. Better than ‘froth,’ which is just like, wet fluff.
Unfortunately, the album is less like some cool animal and more like wet fluff. Think soap bubbles, or whipped cream. Light and airy, but slimy and leavers of stickiness. The music is vapid and cloying. I couldn’t decipher most of the lyrics cause they all fizzled together into scummy platitudes and worn-out corn.
When I was in elementary school, we had a counselor named Patricia. She came around the classrooms, told us to hug ourselves, and say ‘I love myself! I love my-self! I LOVE myself!’ until it raised our self esteem. Patricia was a very nice lady, but you’ve gotta be pretty literal to internalize mantras like that just ’cause someone told you to do so. (Also when I was a kid, grownups used to give me beer foam. I liked it, but then I learned: it’s the useless part, abundant if your glass is poured by a goddamn amateur).
Ah well. Apar. It’s like a machine spewing confetti. The plastic kindness of a “Have a Nice Day :)” grocery bag. Mistaking niceness for kindness. It is benign and well-crafted, though never euphoric – beer foam won’t get you drunk. It’s fine. It will fill the silence that bothers people who can’t entertain themselves.