The Complete Package

This is Mike Fiore's third outing as Faces on Film, and he doesn't seem bored yet. These songs are subtly unsettling and earworm-worthy as the same time.

Faces on Film
Elite Lines

The electronic elements of the production are omnipresent, but they never dominate. Instead, each song develops its own sonic palette within Fiore's mellow dreadful guidelines. I suppose that last might sound unappetizing, but what I mean to say is that Fiore keeps an air of loose melancholy about his at all times.

Without sounding even slightly like the Smiths, these songs manage to evoke a similar response. Like the blues, listening to this much introspective heartbreak and disappointment can only make one feel better. And it sure doesn't hurt that the music is some of the best-crafted stuff I've heard in a long time.

Indeed, it was the music that first pricked up my ears. Fiore's deliberate melodies and slowly-shifting rhythmic bases sound simple at first. But even a moment's listening reveals the exceptional craft behind that ostensible ease. It's really, really hard to sound completely at ease, and yet Fiore accomplishes this again and again as his songs shuffle through a truckload of influences.

That chameleonic quality makes it hard to identify a Faces on Film "sound." But the fact that Fiore has completely mastered so many forms is more than impressive. It's wonderful. This is easily one of the best albums of the year.

Jon Worley

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