Album Review: Fantard Magnus
Be You Later
If there was a soundtrack to having multiple personality disorder, Be You Later by Fantard Magnus would be it. Through the album’s seven songs you are taken through a diverse journey of almost every sound imaginable, ranging from spoken word slam poetry to acoustic singer-songwriter with some saxophone and deep synth thrown in for good measure. There are undoubtedly no genres that can accurately describe the nature of the songs presented on this album.
Be You Later effortlessly adds on the layers, leaving the listener surrounded by a vortex of atmospheric sounds that at their best, truly sound symphonic in their scope. Fantard Magnus’ singer and only member, Helios Wilson Levick croons over the tracks with schizophrenic glee spouting lyrics that make you wonder what the profound meaning behind it all is… or if he is just spouting stuff off of the top of his head. Therein lies the one thing that felt missing from this release: focus. There are some great moments of musical composition to be offered on Be You Later, but it seemed as though there was nothing to tie them all together. Each song felt like a journey to somewhere, but by the end of each song the promise of a destination seemed unfulfilled.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some fresh sounds to be found on this release. The beginning of “Elipse” starts off with a warm organic tone that immediately puts the listener into a state of calm relaxation. Acoustic guitar, wind instruments, drums and droning synth all combine to make a beautiful listening experience. The final song on the record, “Octogonagain,” sets off in pretty much the opposite direction with a sound that can only be described as dark and groovy with spoken word lyrics soaring over the instrumentation. Moments from these songs make up some of the best of the record.
No one can deny the broad scope that Be You Later encompasses. It’s easy to hear that the songs are the work of someone who knows and loves music and wants to take it to every level possible. But personally, this listener thinks it would all shine brighter with a little focus and consolidation of all those great ideas into something more fleshed out and tangible.
– Raleigh Davis