SAZE’s “Glass Bullet” taps into the zeitgeist with engrossing atmospheres. Figuring a wide display of emotions, from fear to hope to desire, the album touches upon the oftentimes contradictory desires that can define a life. Production positively shines for every single element feels carefully considered and crafted to absolute perfection. Over the course of the album the true highlight comes directly from SAZE’s poetic lyricism that seems to almost traverse an entire path through a life lived to the fullest with all the ups and downs that entails. Dreamy, ethereal even at times, SAZE draws from hip-hop, soul, electronica, R&B, all grounded by a thoughtful art pop framework.
The deep melodic richness features an unendingly unfolding universe. Melodies, textures and patterns shift slowly yet deliberately. Reminiscent of Moses Sumney at times, even a bit of the indie rock theatrics of the Decemberists, everything moves along at its own pace. Beats anchor the whole journey for SAZE makes sure to keep his arrangements soothing, evolving, and always building up, however slightly. Applying sound in a painterly, passionate fashion, SAZE lets these rhythms support the strength and emotive quality of his vocals.
A hazy Sunday afternoon quality introduces the album on the intimate opener “It Makes Me Me”. Within this single piece SAZE sings with a tremendous honesty, even allowing a small sample from “Little Miss Sunshine” to further illuminate the piece. Beats have a crispness on the darkened corners of “I Won’t Lie”. Flows have a flawless quality on the highly energetic, tension-filled spirit of “Proof” where SAZE reflects upon what brings a person down, the losses that change a life’s direction and the adjustments that result.
Surreal Beach House samples weave themselves into intricate “Got Up to Get Up” by far the highlight of the album. Hand-claps help to empathize the optimism that comes into the fray. A casual flirtation rests at the heart of the easy-going grooves of “Camera Shy” featuring Brett Miller’s equally laid-back delivery, that at times recalls Sam Prekop’s work with the Sea and Cake. Virtually geometric is the constantly changing spirit of “3086” featuring Anumerica where the track appears to build up tension, with even the synthesizer stabs adding to the whole. Effortlessly bringing the album to a close is the incredible, Boards of Canada ambience of “New Man” where SAZE and Aya Aziz work in unison to give the whole piece a sense of reflection.
Bold, beautiful and blissful, SAZE’s “Glass Bullet” shows off an impressive mastery of surreal storytelling.