Yves Tumor has always been an interesting figure in the music industry. Their style is instantly recognizable for its boundary-pushing uses of both retro and futuristic sounds in their production, and their dry, dark voice. Inspiration can be heard from punk, psychedelic, rhythm and blues and all colors of pop in Tumor’s music.
Their fifth studio album, “Praise a Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds),” came highly anticipated following their recent successful run.
Tumor’s previous 2020 album, “Heaven to a Tortured Mind,” was critically acclaimed, placing seventh on Pitchfork’s best albums list of that year. In 2021, Tumor released a short but rich extended play, “The Asymptotical World,” which was also a highly regarded project by critics, including Loud and Quiet, who gave it a 9/10.
The past few years have been a showcase for the growing talent of the young star, so “Hot Between Worlds” is released as an interesting testament as to whether Tumor will continue to develop their incredibly unique and colorful artistic style.
The first track, “God Is a Circle,” opens with a dark guitar rift which quickly becomes catchy, and features some additional shoegazey production. It all culminates into an opener that definitely grabs your attention.
“Lovely Sewer” shifts the album to a more retro style with synthesized beats that back smooth guest vocals.
Tumor continues to constantly experiment with new sounds and styles, dipping into acoustic, heavy rock, electronic and hip-hop, and “Hot Between Worlds” showcases Tumor’s best tool in their musical armory: their multi-instrumentalism.
Nothing in the album feels like it was something that was just thrown together with a disclaimer of ‘experimental’ slapped on. Everything Tumor does is thought through, while still extremely unfiltered. In the modern age of music-making, where one person can simulate the sounds of an entire band with a laptop, Tumor stands out as a pioneer.
However, this album is not without its faults. Although there isn’t really a bad song on “Hot Between Worlds,” some do stand out as much less fleshed out than the others.
Mainly, Tumor’s vocals seem to be the limiting factor for their increasingly adventurous sound. While their production continues to grow with each project, Tumor’s vocal performances stay relatively the same throughout his discography and within “Hot Between Worlds.”
This does not have a huge negative factor, but can still tip the scale between a song that hits, and one that passes without much of an impression.
For an example, songs that are centered on their vocals, like “Parody” are some of the weakest on the album, while songs like “Purified by the Fire” and “Operator,” which either have no vocals or are secondary to the instrumental backing, are much more memorable and impactful.
Still, Tumor’s talent is proved once more to be great and growing with no signs of stopping. Their production is rich, catchy and innovative, and their ability to seamlessly blend genres into a consistent album is limitless. Tumor still has room to grow, but I look forward to each release they come out with.
As their skill as a one-man-band has been thoroughly displayed, I would love to see Tumor do more collaborations with other artists with a similar, boundless style, like Tame Impala, Kali Uchis or Lil Yachty. All of those artists have recently blossomed out of the stylistic boundaries of their respective genres, and Tumor’s production definitely has the ability to elevate the sounds of other experimental artists —see “AAA Powerline'' by Ecco2k. Working together, incredible art could be made.
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