Album Review: Control
Somewhere between their debut self-titled album and their recently released sophomore effort Control, Los Angeles’ Milo Greene found just that: a not-so-clear evolution of their folksy indie pop into a controlled, synth-heavy, electronic dream.
Self-described as “cinematic pop” in the vein of making music fit for the movies, the ensemble does what we’re all looking for: they make music for the soundtrack of life. Without losing the gorgeously arranged instrumentation or four-part vocals of their first album, after working with producer Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Foster the People, Ellie Goulding), their new sound is cleaner and more varied.
There’s a bit of everything on Control, from the moody downbeat and lyrical sparseness of “Heartless” to the danceably-80’s “Gramercy.” With the help of legendary drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms For Peace, R.E.M.) the foursome has found their beat. The track “Lie to Me” feels related to their roots, with its swingy lyrical melody, just sped up with some killer percussion that feels very now. Closing the album with “Royal Blue” seems like an official throwback to their debut that ends on a strong note.
Catching Milo Greene’s performance of “Lonely Eyes” on Conan this week left little to be desired, clearly demonstrating the group’s expert harmonies and strong musicianship. What they’re doing may not be a new story – the move from indie pop to a beat-laden synthesized sound seems to be the going rate these days – but as long as they’re doing it well (which they are), it’s a worthwhile effort.
After the first surprising listen, Control definitely digs in its heels with its catchy new sound. Take a listen and catch their upcoming tour when they stop in to the storied Columbia City Theater on February 15. Find your tickets here.
Control Track Listing:
On the Fence
When It’s Done
Lie to Me
Preview by Stephanie Dore