Ricky Eats Acid
Talk To You Soon Album Review
Released October 28, 2016
Genre: Ambient, IDM, Experimental
Ricky Eat Acid is Sam Ray, a Maryland-based producer who crafts ambient soundscapes that delve into memories. 2015’s Three Love Songs found him at his career best: a deeply moving and stunningly triumphant collection of tracks that felt like a window into Ray’s emotional state and perspective. Whether it be the diary-like song titles, the field recordings, or the intimate production and endlessly growing soundscapes – Three Love Songs was Ray at his most intimate, hypnotic, and transcendent. While Three Love Songs felt like a haze, Ray’s latest record is more in your face, with aggressive production and more eccentric elements, Talk To You Soon is a collection of haunting vignettes that paint a scatter-brained mind dealing with the dark side of introspection and anxiety. The result is utterly beautiful and shows Ray’s personal issues crafting music that both comforts and warns.
Introspection is both healthy, and dangerous; it’s necessary as well – as the age old saying goes “the unexamined life is a life not worth living”. The album opener is a sudden and bizarre tapestry of ambient and IDM styles fused into a effervescent greeting. So much of Ray’s music deals with memory, and the past, that it’s easy to correlate certain songs with Ray’s approach towards nostalgia, towards HIS past. “This Is As Close To Haven As I Get” slowly trudges through the repeating lyric, becoming more sorrowful than optimistic. Evoking Jon Brion’s PUNCH DRUNK LOVE score (not intentionally, to my knowledge) Ray’s bouncy synths bubble with joy and happiness. Now that isn’t to say that this mood sustains itself throughout the album. The album has its fair share of digressive moments: “On The Floor Beneath the Cross” sounds like an existential crisis amidst a rave, while the Wreck And Reference-featured “As We Speak” opens with extremely aggressive yells and cries of terror, torture, and pain.
It’s impressive to see Ray compile a wide array of emotions on this records, whilst still progressing his sound further. Talk To You Soon sounds more direct and blunt; whereas on Three Love Songs Ray simply hovered his message in the air, Talk To You Soon grabs you by your shoulders and screams, whispers, and gently speaks it to you right in your face. Hopefully Ray’s obsession with the mind, and our constantly shifting ability/inability to control it, will be a subject he continues to explore in full. Introspection is both dangerous and beneficial, above all it’s important. If anything, Talk To You Soon shows its necessity and its effects of contentment and self-identity; but also, how overthinking can lead to a state of panic, anxiety, and dismay.
FAV TRACKS: hey, F*cking To Songs On Radios, Never Alone In A Dark Room, :’)
LEAST FAV TRACK: Nice To See You