Pop Sensation to bore the nation

The Manhattan School of Music educated duo create a sparkling yet leveled atmosphere on their sophomore album, “Hush.”

With the lovely female vocals of Yuki Chikudate, Asobi Seksu redeemed their endearing qualities shown in the band’s debut album, “Citrus.” However, the exquisitely crafted synth-pop with James Hanna’s layering hard at work seems to be overlooked by the uniform sound levels on “Hush.”

As complex and intricate as the instrumentation is throughout the album, one would be hard pressed to realize it without great strain. The levels of the vocals, guitar, synthesizer, drums and bells are all the same, giving the album an ignorable presence and repetitive structure.

That isn’t to say the entire album is without great moments. “Familiar Light” goes above and beyond expectations, providing the listener with expressive and climactic vocals and ever-building percussion. This one song stands taller than the rest and can easily be compared to M83’s signature climactic synth-pop.

“Sing Tomorrow’s Praise” is a glorified anthem for the lonely with gorgeous dreamy melodies and a layered structure that make up for the off-kilter sound levels.

“In the Sky” is a simple serenade with Chikudate crooning “ohs” and “ahs” creating an ethereal pop dream. Minimal drums and guitar provide a focal point on the lush vocals and well-composed keyboards of the female half.

It is unfortunate that the album appears to be recorded and mixed by an inept monkey, as there are elements throughout that are shamefully ignored.

As uniquely clever and well crafted as “Hush” is, the ultimate downfall of the album is the ignorable quality in each song. One could play this album from beginning to end and feel the same for its entirety. There is neither transcendence nor an immersive aspect to “Hush,” contributing to its ability to become background music.

Asobi Seksu certainly has what it takes to be the next great dream pop sensation, but I suggest they invest in a new sound engineer.