Taking six years in between albums is a risky move in the music world, especially if it’s only your second record. For a while it seemed as though Tom Vek had pulled a Gregg Alexander; dropping a unique album and then simply disappearing into the great unknown. Luckily, Vek is back with a sophomore album, Leisure Seizure that picks up right where he left off six years ago. If you are familiar with Vek’s We Have Sound you will notice that Leisure Seizure offers a production that comes off much more polished, but the lull off key vocals of Vek are still pretty much intact. If you are unfamiliar with Vek you may just assume you are listening to the newest venture by Beck.
The album opener “Hold Your Hand” starts with a choppy mid tempo electro beat that has a feel reminiscent of Animal Collective and Kenna. The track is slow to build and excessively repetitive leaving an underwhelming first impression. Luckily the second track “Aroused” brings the album into full swing with a much more groove oriented beat and holds that momentum over the next few tracks. It becomes clear about halfway through that Leisure Seizure fluctuates in quality; diving into droning apathy only to pick itself back up into infectious hooks. The biggest factor seems to lie in how tactful Vek is in his lazily delivered vocals. For the amount of songs that work with Vek’s monotone approach there is an equal amount that fall flat. Regardless of the vocals though, most of these songs will have you at least shaking your hips.
The lyrics off this album come off loose and dethatched occasionally saying something engaging such as “What you perceive of life is no more than a chore” off the lead single “A Chore” . But Leisure Seizure doesn’t strike me as an album that trying to say anything profound but merely uses words for their sounds and affects more than their actual meanings.
So are the best songs off this album enough to carry it along? The bottom line is there are phenomenal songs on this album that deserve their rightful dues; it’s just a matter of sifting through the clutter.
Album High Points: Aroused, A Chore, A.P.O.L.O.G.Y., Someone Loves You
Album Low Points: Hold Your Hand, World of Doubt