Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
January 12, 2004
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Humanistic Humanistic
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Abandoned Pools
Humanistic

Abandoned Pools is Tommy Walter, former Eels bassist and classically trained French Horn player (not that such a bizarre piece of trivia adds any heft to his current work). his 2001 debut--in which he wrote and recorded just about everything--is a particularly queer mixology of sunny pop and Cobain-esque resentment minus the puerile indignation. though Walter emerged briefly in 2001 to score MTV's Clone High, his album arrived with little to no critical noise and fell into the rising tide of used cd bins.

this is quite a pity since Humanistic evidences Walter's superb sense of balance. songs like 'The Remedy,' 'Mercy Kiss,' and 'Suburban Muse,' combine the smooth, unruffled pop textures with a slight dash of electronica and ensconce those influences in an alternative blanket. sometimes, however, Walter strings one of the two influences on a few songs such as 'L.V.B.D.' and 'Monster,' both alternative powderkegs, or 'Never,' 'Start Over,' and especially 'Ruin Your Life,' in which he gets the help of a few somewhat disaffected muses to craft some pretty impressive pop. something must especially be said about the couplet of songs at the end of the album: 'Seed' and 'Flourescein.' though the entire album is pretty good, it seems as if Walter has found his niche in these two and is using them as the modus operandi for his new (and yet un-sponsored) cd Armed To The Teeth. this is great since though they are the heaviest on the cd, they are also the most methodical and melodic. overall it's a great debut.

Release date: September 25, 2001
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
Rating: 8.0 / 10

[RMR]