Telephone Jim Jesus: Anywhere Out of Everything

Telephone Jim JesusTelephone Jim Jesus has been one of Anticon Records’ flagship producers since his days in Restiform Bodies. His style has remained consistent — noisy, busy downtempo soundscapes that are more funeral march than boom bap. Anywhere Out of the Everything does little to break the mold.

Although it’s an often pretty and sometimes captivating album, the songs feel aimless. The album opens with “Did You Hear?”, a plodding, tuneless beast with some interesting distorted toms and feedback but an overabundance of languid strummed guitar.

“Birdstatic,” on the other hand, might as well be a Boards of Canada tribute — warm synth pads swell behind a simple plucked guitar line. It works well initially, but the track never goes anywhere.

In fact, that is a common problem with the songs on Anywhere Out of the Everything — even when the songs change frequently, they still manage to feel stuck in place. Something feels like it is missing. It isn’t vocals — “Ugly Knees” proves that those aren’t doing any favors, either.

The near-constant downtempo feel of this album makes it difficult to hear from start to finish. Many of these tracks are very pretty, and some are deeply captivating (like the jungle-inspired “Faces All Melted”), but it’s hard to listen to these lengthy tracks and not feel frustrated. Anywhere Out of the Everything fails to build a captivating atmosphere that would excuse its lack of destination.

– Patrick Hajduch

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