Postrock Review: The American Dollar band – Awake in the City

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After almost a two years wait, The American Dollar launches their new EP titled “Awake in the City”. Ambient / Postrock bliss? Read the verdict here!
I have to admit that I was longing for a new The American Dollar album for a while now. One year ago I discovered this great band and since then I’m addicted to their music. A couple of months ago, I featured the song Glow in the Must-Hear Postrock category and posted a couple of Timelapse videos with the American Dollar Band soundtracks. I even used one of their songs for my own private photoccollage. That’s just the thing about this band, their music really suits the atmosphere of cities and landscapes.

Awake in the City is their latest full-fledged album and there is hope that this album continues to amaze listeners to dreamlike tunes featuring the characteristic electro / synth samples we’re used to. Opener Faces in the Haze really delivers and is a safe haven for the fans. The piano sounds, little electro touches and spanish guitars feel very comfortable and really pleases my ears. Halfway through the song, there’s a small WTF-moment that’s surprising but doesn’t detract from the overall stellar quality of the song. It’s a great opener for things to come.

The Album’s second track is called Heavy Eyes Ignite and has a slower approach than opener Faces in the Haze. The American Dollar’s ambient influences are coming through and at 2 minutes in the song, the loudness kicks up a notch and delivers another quality song that would really work in timelapse video’s to come. This song really makes you “feel”.

Ether Channels continues this state of mind. A funny thing about this song is that the background-synthesizer is constantly pitching at a higher tune when the song progresses. It ends in a calm and almost serene way with the piano playing an easy rythm. First Day has an air of optimism in it. 2/3rd into the song, this track kicks up one step with a great tune that feels a bit too short.

Right in the middle of the tracklist, there’s Steeltown part one and part two. Both songs could be combined into one song because the end of part one flows naturally in the beginning of part two. I really like the easy-listening chanting vocals in this song and I’m interesetd in how the results would be if The American Dollar incoporates this in more songs. Steeltown part one as an inidividual song doesn’t feel complete, but the transistion into part two works and the latter is a great upbeat tune.

Track number eight Strings isn’t bad, but in my opinion it’s a bit lifeless. It just doesn’t hold my attention or gives me the same feeling as some other tracks. Luckily, Crossing Asia’s opening catches my immediate attention due to the distinctive beats and the Asian sounds you’ll hear. When the Asian sounds combine with the electric guitar, I can imagine me walking in Tokyo again and amaze at the neon and skyscrapers. Someone make a Tokyo Timelapse with this song, thank you kindly!

As we float is a track that sounds a bit too generic. It gets lost in the other songs that sound the same but have a better tune / rythm. The beginning of Urbana almost sounds like a dance track and has a techy feel. High pitch sound effects and a very different beat than most songs. Friends of friends beginning has a lot of similarities with the Ambient one and Ambient two releases, but really opens up to a full sound with mysterious tunes in it which I like a lot. The final track titled Oracle is a worthy finisher that recalls all good tunes that make the music of The American Dollar worth your time and money.

In conclusion
Awake in the City isn’t an album that renews The American Dollar. It’s not an album with risky decisions or whatsoever, but I don’t mind. The songs on this album create a city-sound that inspires me to travel. Every day I travel by train to get to work and this music really fits. The American Dollar succeeds in creating another album that, while travelling, makes you think about all the possibilities we have to see and visit places. It’s the ultimate city-sound which you can really enjoy when you see the fading lights while travelling by train or when you’re walking outside under the moon and stars. It’s also a great album to listen to when you’re reading a good book or relax after a day of hard work. The American Dollar continues to create emotionally moving tracks that avoids negative thoughts. It’s really soothing, creative, positive music that a lot of listeners will enjoy. Awake in the City is highly recommended!

The Amercian Dollar band – Official Website

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