Blue Film - 4AD
FILTER Grade: 81%
By Robert Rea on February 26, 2014
LA-based Matthew Hemerlein's debut is a seamless blend of classical symphony and contemporary pop. The spare arrangement of violins mixed with samples on “Boris” leaves plenty of room to showcase the considerable range of his quaking falsetto. It’s not hard to imagine his somber rendition of Olivia Newton-John’s “You’re the One That I Want” in some demented adaptation of Grease directed by David Lynch. This is not to say Blue Film is entirely a quiet, moody album. On its most dance-oriented track, “Animal Urges,” Hemerlein gently plucks a mandolin over sweeping synths and thundering drum machines. But unlike Antony and The Johnsons, to whom Lo-Fang has been compared, Hemerlein never comes across as cold or detached. His intimate voice strikes enough of a balance with the chilly electronics to keep the core of this winter release at room temperature.