Odesza - The Last Goodbye

Regular price $ 35.99

2xLP on Clear Vinyl

Following the phenomenal successes of 2014's In Return and 2017's A Moment Apart, which both topped Billboard's Top Dance/Electronic Albums and remained on the chart for several years, electronic duo ODESZA tried something different and teamed up with Golden Features for a tech-house project called BRONSON. Darker and more stripped-down than the widescreen glitch-pop ODESZA are typically known for, the collaboration seemed to reignite the duo's passion for dance music. The Last Goodbye, the fourth ODESZA full-length, isn't quite as club-focused as the BRONSON album, but the danceable tracks seem bigger and more anthemic (and not always as pop) than on the pair's past albums. This is particularly evident on tracks like "Love Letter," a long-gestating collaboration with the Knocks, and the title cut, built around a mournful, wailing sample of soul icon Bettye LaVette, from her 1965 song "Let Me Down Easy." Both are high-tech, festival-ready house tracks that build from the drama of their respective samples without getting too overblown. "Wide Awake" has the duo's familiar combination of yearning verses (by Charlie Houston) and manipulated vocal refrains, but with more of a progressive house influence. Elsewhere, Julianna Barwick opens the set with a meditative monologue, flowing into her own heavenly singing accompanied by rising synth arpeggios and strings. "Behind the Sun" skillfully incorporates samples of Iranian vocalist Simin Ghanem into a downtempo beat that soon develops into an epic march fit for the lead-up to a battle scene in a movie, with snare drums and horns conjuring images of swordplay. ODESZA generally put at least one surefire radio bop on their albums, and "Forgive Me" (with Izzy Bizu) would sound perfect coming on right after a Lizzo single during the morning drive. "North Garden" has an Avalanches-meets-Beach Boys vibe, and sounds closer to the duo's chillwave-adjacent early style. "Equal," on the other hand, has a galloping, heart-racing beat and trancey synths pushing Låpsley's striking "I just want our love to be equal" hook forward. The hard, skipping beat and fractured vocals of "I Can't Sleep" seem a little like a more ODESZA-ized version of something that might've turned up on the BRONSON album. Finally, Ólafur Arnalds provides plaintive, Jason Molina-esque vocals while a prog-house beat develops and strings similar to those on the first track swell up, providing a full-circle moment when it all concludes with the sound of children's voices, like the album began. It would be difficult for ODESZA to replicate the impact of the still-incredible In Return, but The Last Goodbye is a definite improvement over A Moment Apart, which felt a bit too overcooked in retrospect. Here, they get the balance right, refining their sound without rehashing it, and trying new ideas without sacrificing their own character.

1 This Version of You 2:52
     feat. Julianna Barwick
2 Wide Awake 3:35
     feat. Charlie Houston
3 Love Letter 4:13
     feat. The Knocks
4 Behind the Sun 4:11
5 Forgive Me 3:28
     feat. Izzy Bizu
6 North Garden 3:00
7 Better Now 3:14
     feat. MARO
8 The Last Goodbye 5:59
     feat. Bettye Lavette
9 All My Life 3:12
10 Equal 3:53
     feat. Låpsley
11 Healing Grid 3:07
12 I Can't Sleep 3:07
13 Light of Day 6:40
     feat. Ólafur Arnalds