Album Spotlight: A Mineral Love by Bibio
Combining the use of his refined finger picking techniques with his fluidity across multiple tunings, Bibio has launched an album that has crossed his traditional talents with a variety of generational pop and folk influences.
Despite drawing upon such different areas of influence such as sixties folk, seventies funk or even eighties pop, A Mineral Love showed very cohesive from one song to another. Each transition from one song to the next led the listener in a different direction from the vibe of the previous song. Despite the differences in musicality between songs, the change in each piece of the album seemed to push the listener just far enough from the previous song - a distance far enough to show separation from one song to the next yet close enough to illuminate the overall themes Bibio emphasized in his work.
Among different themes recurring throughout the album, every track provided a smooth, ambient mood for the listener. Bibio made this clear with his first two tracks, Petals, and self-titled, A Mineral Love. Both songs rely on watery rhythm guitar and electronically distorted instruments to craft a soft, continuous flow of sound. While Petals emphasized soaring legato vocals over guitar picking to craft the washy sound, A Mineral Love, pushed the song forward with use of synth pad, steady bass guitar and a faster rate of beats per minute (bpm). Despite the different techniques, Bibio still managed to implement an oddly similar atmospheric feel between his songs. Contrasting against the feel of the rest of the songs is track titled "Town and Country," which I also decided is my favorite of the 13 on the album.
Town and Country started with a syncopated guitar riff. A few bars later, a funk drum pattern entered with emphasis on hi-hat closings and snare rudiments. Keyboard and bass guitar entered shortly after to provide some more spice. The most flavorful part of the song, however, began after the second verse. A guitar, now with the use of distortion pedal, entered into the song to spill out a groovin' solo! As the guitar faded, the keyboard picked up where the guitar left off. As the keyboard maintained a solid rhythmic pattern for which the guitar, drums and base provided the foundation, flares of saxophone could be heard in the background as well before the drums cued the ending of a song with a light cymbal crash and base drum kick.