Tuesday, June 26, 2012
ESA : How Pure Would Your Utopia Be? 
The sophomore release of British musician Jamie Blacker’s solo project, ESA (Electronic Substance Abuse), shows that the positive critical reactions his debut offering were quite deserved and that the artist was still capable of improving the quality and creativity of his work. In a genre that is on the verge of becoming saturated, ESA has been gaining some well-deserved recognition by producing work that, though not flawless, stands well from the crowd and is sure to be remembered.
Less straightforward and in some stylistic aspects unexpectedly more subtle than the preceding album, in “How Pure Would Your Utopia Be?” ESA once more explores religious themes and their relation with the human condition – in particular in the darker corners of the mind. Not forgetting that part of the album is aimed at making people move on the dancefloor, a situation where any metaphorical subtleties are bound to be lost on the audience, ESA’s personal approach nevertheless skilfully eschews the obvious and the bombastic, instead leaving space for the listener to assemble the pieces of the aural puzzle and fill in the gaps with his own interpretation of the metaphors presented herein. With an overall epic feeling to it, there is also room for contrasting melancholy, a melancholy that becomes all too obvious in later tracks and where the artist shows how he has matured artistically since the previous album. Perhaps the true strength of “How Pure Would Your Utopia Be?” lies not so much in the more intensely rhythmic tracks (that roughly concentrate in the first part of the album) but rather in the calmer tracks, tracks that could be almost said to be laidback, if it wasn’t for the omnipresent feeling of underlying tension and, in a few tracks, hints of resignation.
01 Dialogue 3:39
02 Your Blood Is My Blood 4:27
03 Paradise Inside / Punishment Defined 4:57
04 Principals Of A Paradisic Resolve 6:15
05 Cursing 5:22
06 Absolute Utero 4:07
07 In Lust We Trust 5:55
08 How Pure Would Your Utopia Be? 5:43
09 Randomly Selected Drawbacks Of The Human Condition 6:52
10 Intense Deceit And A Thousand Empty Promises 6:14
11 You Do Not Belong Here 7:11