Dosh’s latest album leaves some serious head-scratching. A Minneapolis-based electronic/ambient music producer doesn’t translate into accessibility for the casual listener, but to compound that, here’s a picture of Dosh showing what appears to be only minimal concern for the audience. His recent works didn’t exactly have the potential to engage a stadium, but on the cover of new album Milk Money, he’s seen staring at his instruments in an intent manner that screams isolation, a seeming disinterest in engaging others. Spotlights illuminate Dosh, while pitch blackness forms a cocoon.
The whole scene can make the task of connecting with Dosh appear much more challenging than it really is on Milk Money. In fact, the opening sounds of Dosh’s seventh studio album are actually very inviting, a hypnotic female vocal sample transforming into the groovy bass line of “We Are the Worst”. That festive atmosphere shores the following track, “Death Set”, keys, ethereal xylophone, and glitchy drum patterns buoying to a glowing climax. The descending and ascending riffs of “Kisses” and the bustling “20 Year” push the album along with the pace and sardined feeling of a train in the city during rush hour, but without any of the dread.
Milk Money takes a disappointing step back in the album’s second half. While “Golden Silver” upholds the tempo of the first half, it quickly falls stale, the melody sounding like an outdated, aquatic-based video game. “Unto Internity” and “Legos (for Terry)” sandwich that track, both falling victim to dulled repetition. The synths in the former don’t feel subversive enough to convey their intended darkness, and even with all the added instruments in “Legos (for Terry)”, there isn’t a big enough payoff to justify its almost 25-minute time length.
Like much of the album, “Legos (for Terry)” is listenable, but very skippable. Even worse, the song produces a feeling of alienation akin to looking at someone who has surrounded himself with instruments rather than people, adding musical textures simply because they sound cool rather than looking to see what might best impact the audience.
Essential Tracks: “We are the Worst”, “Kisses”