Category: Electro-pop / EBM
Album: Love Like Lies (Single)
Blurb: While not entirely unsuccessful in bringing a more melodic pop sensibility into a harsher electro/industrial style, Aesthetic Perfection’s latest single falls short in several areas.
Daniel Graves is an artist in every sense of the word, undeterred by any adverse or negative responses critics or audiences may have to his creative inclinations, and determined to follow whatever path he sets for himself. Over the years, Aesthetic Perfection has developed from an edgy and harsh electro/industrial project to something with a greater degree of nuance – he has performed acoustic versions of his more industrial tracks, recreated his futurepop side project Necessary Response to fit his current sound, and now, hot on the heels of the LAX single earlier this year, the Love Like Lies single sees Graves pursuing a greater incorporation of pop influence into Aesthetic Perfection. For the most part, this merger of styles is successful as “Love Like Lies” comes out of the gates with an aggressive and scathing EBM bass and beat that will surely appease longtime fans, Graves shouting “Hey” in a gritty shout before switching to a cleaner tone for the verse and chorus melody. As was demonstrated on the Necessary Response rerelease, Graves’ clean voice possesses a nasal twinge that suits the more melodious tune well enough, although in this writer’s estimation, it bears too much of a resemblance to emo music to be appealing (admittedly, this is a matter of personal taste); it doesn’t help that he switches at times to an unhinged scream, which only strengthens the comparison and diminishes the inclination to hit replay. Strangely enough, the inclusion of a female accompaniment so intrinsic to pop music is somehow less intrusive and seems a better execution of Graves’ stylistic intentions; this is especially so in the stuttering effects on the CHVRN remix, which opts for a more atmospheric and somber approach to the song. The same can be said of the closing Auto Auto remix, while the MX BLD remix is far more dance floor friendly. Ultimately, “Love Like Lies” is not a bad song and apart from Graves’ vocal shortcomings, it’s a darkly catchy pop song, although on the musical front, the buildup of drums and the ascending melody in the verses trailing off into the chorus should yield something more forceful and dynamic… instead, it stays in a particular range that seems to only reach for that explosive quality when Graves screams, and as stated, it’s not the strongest aspect of the song. It’s a shame too, because the production is as top-notch as anything Aesthetic Perfection has ever released, and the Love Like Lies single meshes harsher electro/industrial with a pop sensibility well enough; it’s just that the disparity between Daniel Graves’ good ideas and his less-than-stellar execution of those ideas brings the single down considerably and is cause for concern on future Aesthetic Perfection releases.