Within and Without
By Al Kaufman
It’s been a long time since a band has been more aptly titled. Imagine a large canvas of electronica. Then imagine someone taking a garden hose to it. This is the type of music that Georgia’s own Ernest Greene, the man behind Washed Out, makes. He is a modern day male version of the Cocteau Twins.
This is chant music — or possibly hangover music — for ravers. It shimmers and shines in a slow, airy way. The bearded (naturally) Greene’s voice is soft and hypnotic, like an electronica version of Jack Johnson. He masks it so often that when Caroline Polachek duets with him on “You and I” one would never know without checking the liner notes.
Yet each song on here has its distinct sound, from the sexiness of “Far Away” to the hypnotic stirrings of “Before,” to the late night club sounding “Echoes.”
Greene chooses to strip himself of all his technical wizardry on the final track, “Dedication.” Still lush and layered at times, Greene’s voice and piano take the forefront, although even them it is difficult to decipher his mumbles, as beautiful as they are. About halfway through, he seems to realize that he is exposed and piles on the multi-tracks. It’s rather charming in its own sensitive way.