Sep 2013 17

Ayria - Plastic Makes PerfectAyria
Category: Synthpop/EBM
Album: Plastic Makes Perfect
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: The new album from Ayria is a welcome departure from the standard synthpop sound.


In the convoluted waters of electronic based music, it seems more and more frequent that synthpop and EBM artists simply stick to the mold laid down by their predecessors, never bothering to bring anything unique to the sound. As a result, it’s fairly easy to become dismissive of the scene as a whole, but every now and then, there are pleasant surprises to be found. One such example is the Canadian group Ayria and the new album, Plastic Makes Perfect.

Plastic Makes Perfect kicks off with “Hunger,” which slinks along seductively with an impenetrable beat before giving way to an absolutely soaring chorus with a melody that will bury itself deep in your head and refuse to let go. Similarly, tracks like “Three Months” and “Big Plans” feature stings of melody throughout, both vocal and instrumental, which really highlight the importance of songwriting, especially in the world of electronic music. On top of the all too rare use of melody in synthpop, Ayria also utilizes elements of different musical genres to great effect. “All That Glitters” is a fantastic quasi-industrial song that sees the introduction of distorted guitars and synths, all without dragging the song down, instead enhancing it. Similarly, “Letter from an Angel” combines a pulsating synth line with a melancholic piano flourish that really makes an already good song great.

Unfortunately, instead of forging ahead with some of the more unconventional sounds throughout the entire album, the band seems to have a tendency for complacency on a handful of songs. “Missed the Mark” does just that as it is difficult to differentiate from any of the overproduced synthpop that permeates dance floors and “Plastic Makes Perfect” sounds like it borrows all the wrong elements from like-sounding artists. The verses of the title track build to a bridge that sounds like it is supposed to come off as menacing, but just sounds silly and it all leads up to a chorus that resembles a long lost Madonna B-side. Considering all of the fantastic content on the record, these songs really hold back Plastic Makes Perfect from being a whole album experience.

That being said, the good definitely outweighs the bad on Plastic Makes Perfect. The attention to melody and harmony throughout the record is a definite bonus, especially coming from a genre that often forgoes such details. On top of that, the album itself sounds impeccable and often strikes the perfect balance of vocals and music, with neither one ever overriding the mix. And while Ayria certainly has a signature sound, the songwriting chops and frequent stylistic shifts are intriguing enough to keep the listener engaged, even in spite of a couple of missteps along the way.
Track list:

  1. Hunger
  2. Big Plans
  3. All That Glitters
  4. Games
  5. Plastic Makes Perfect
  6. Missed the Mark
  7. The Box Under My Bed
  8. Friends and Enemies
  9. Three Months
  10. Big City Lullaby
  11. The New Style of Riot
  12. Letter from an Angel

Ayria Website
Ayria Facebook
Ayria Twitter
Ayria Bandcamp
Alfa Matrix Website
Alfa Matrix MySpace
Alfa Matrix Facebook
Alfa Matrix Twitter
Alfa Matrix Bandcamp
Purchase at:
Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
Amazon CD (Special Edition)
Amazon MP3 (Standard Edition)
Amazon MP3 (Special Edition)
Ayria Bandcamp (Standard Edition)
Ayria Bandcamp (Special Edition)
Alfa Matrix Bandcamp (Standard Edition)
Alfa Matrix Bandcamp (Special Edition)
Ryan Brun (rbrun)

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