More than just “bedroom pop,” Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter’s debut as Atlas Sound, was “recluse rock,” a boy-in-the-bubble’s yearning to escape his heavily medicated exile. But Cox is no longer a shut-in. He’s toured the world, made famous friends, and become supremely confident in his talents, and Logos reflects the joy of finally being allowed to run outside. Cox claims Logos is the extroverted answer to Blind’s navel-gazing, and—while the cover prominently features Cox’s navel, affirming he’s a funny dude—the songs confirm it, even as their first-take sketchiness keeps them awkwardly intimate. Again, having friends helps: “Walkabout,” a duet with Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox, extends the Super 8 reel permanently flickering in Cox’s head, built on a swinging riff nicked from The Dovers’ “What Am I Going To Do?” that is “summers at the beach” personified. Elsewhere, Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier transforms “Quick Canal” into a pulsating, Kraut-pop panorama that sounds, to its credit, an awful lot like Stereolab. But even left to his own indulgences, Cox is noticeably bolder, whether on the lovey-dovey earworm “Sheila” or the vulnerable sighs of “Attic Lights.” Only when he retreats to familiar gauzy gurgles (as on the formless opener “The Light That Failed”) does Logos lose focus. Hopefully, Cox will learn to love it here, outside his shell.
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