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LastFm.com has really become one of my favorite Music sites, because it does follow through on the promise to help it’s listener discover new music. I’ve been signed up for almost a year now and I’ve discovered countless groups and artists I would have probably never heard of. Including MillionYoung, also known as Mike Diaz, an electronic/”chillwave” artist whose track “Mien” I instantly fell in love with.
Unfortunately, I listened to his music out of order. I checked out his debut full length LP “Replicants” (released earlier this year) before listening to any of his preliminary EP’s and was actually really disappointed. Nothing on there was as smooth and airy as “Mien”, and the album felt a little too all over the place but lacking any type of excitement factor.
Needing to have “Mien” in my library, I got his second EP “Be So True” (released in 2010) and was very pleased with it. At just 6 tracks the EP is perfect, it’s totally calm and polished and shows enough diversity while still staying within this whole “chillwave” or “dreamwave” or “Whatever-you-want-to-call-it-Indie-Electro” style. Pretty much every song has a quality about it that begs for repeated listens, the smoothness of “Mien”, the catchiness and dance-ability of “Cynthia”, and the weird and (almost) experimental electro-work on “Day We Met”. Sure, he’s not a vocal powerhouse (not many in this scene are really, they love their whine-y vocals), and the material isn’t so much Revolutionary. Still Diaz made it work in a great way, and the length of the EP probably helps it all go down easier as well.
Listening to the EP made the shortcomings of his LP apparent. At 13 tracks “Replicants” shows Diaz desperatley trying to stretch the greatness of that EP into a full album, and the result is maybe stretch a little too thin and a bit diluted. It’s just way too drawn out, with a good number of the tracks feeling like pure filler. Even this albums stand out tracks don’t compare to really anything on “Be So True”. You do have to give Diaz some points for effort though, he really does try to incorporate a number of styles into his music and he does it in a way where it doesn’t feel forced. Like how “Calrissian” is totally 60’s/Beach Boy inspired, where “Sentimental” is very Pop-light, and “001” goes into a little more of a rock direction. There’s also hints of 80’s Pop, Daft Punk/French Electro stylings, even an island sound to match the albums cover art. A bit of pretty much everything is in there. The album does maintain a consistent tone and vibe, with every track being very lo-fi’ish and of the Indie feel.
Overall though, “Replicants” isn’t really a good full length representation. While being slightly experimental, it also doesn’t really give us anything we haven’t heard before. And really nothing stands out as being truly great, just so-so. Maybe Diaz just needs to be re-inspired or take more time to really think about how to adapt the the good things from his EP to a full 12-14 track album. “Be So True” shows he has some talent, but “Replicants” let him down. Hopefully in the coming years he can whip up a winning formula, as of now it seems like short and sweet EP’s might just be his thing. He might just have to work his way up slowly to compiling enough great tracks for a full album.
“Be So True”