Odesza’s second album, In Return, is proof that the group is getting better with time. The electronic duo was created by Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, who met while attending university at Western Washington University. The album consists of thirteen songs that are a mix of instrumental tracks and ones that feature vocals. In Return, which was released in September of 2014, retains all of the smooth, hypnotic beats that the group is known for, but brings a fresh perspective to their sound.
The album opens with “Always This Late,” a song that truly embodies the spirit of Odesza. It features tribal beats in conjunction with buoyant electronic elements. It was a great way to open the album and lead the way for the tracks that followed it.
“Say My Name ft. Zyra” is the second track and it really kicks the album into gear. This is the kind of song that you can get down to. The beat was electric and the vocals were expressive enough to stand up to the instrumentals.
“Sun Models ft. Madelyn Grant” is another high point of the album. This song is pure ecstasy. It is the second to last song on the album. Grant’s voice is distorted and you can’t understand the lyrics but you don’t need to comprehend the words in order to be captivated by this song. Like the title suggests, the instrumentals have a beachy vibe to them that are elevated by the addition of the vocals. The only downside is that it’s only 2 minutes and 29 seconds long and dangerously addictive.
“For Us ft. Brianna Marela” is the last song on the album. It is a fitting end to the album. Unlike the other songs, it has a rather nostalgic tone to the lyrics as well as the instrumentals. Throughout the song Marela laments, “It was as if the song was written for us / When we sang along to the chorus / For us.”
Instead of coming to a sudden halt, the last minute and a half of the track drifts off with soothing instrumentals that are layered on top of soft background noise. This choice gives the album a smooth, effortless conclusion.
As a whole, the album is a joy to listen to especially for those who are electronic/trance music enthusiasts. The only thing that is disappointing about In Return is that the strongest tracks were at the beginning and the ending of the album. It started out with a punch and finished on a great note but the tracks that were in the middle of the album sort of blurred together into one stream of sound. They were good, but they didn’t hold a candle to the highlights of the album.
Other than that, In Return was a wonderful. Odesza has once again created a compilation of music that makes you feel super chill and stimulated all at once. This duo makes beats so sick that you’ll be hitting that replay button all day long.