Holly Herndon - PROTO
76
User Score (174)
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musicmagpie55
50
Holly Herndon's new album was a pretty big disappointment for me. While I appreciate the conceptual weight of this project, I found the album forgettable and not intense enough. What I loved so much about her previous record, Platform, was this constant curiosity without regard for a specific sound or melodic line. The music was paradoxically organic and contrived, but it made for an album always searching for resolve. Proto asks a fascinating question and utilizes the human voice more than ... read more
usedtobe
90
Created with the help of an A.I baby called Spawn and choirs of human and artificial beings, this third studio release from San Francisco-based sound artist and composer explores the possibility of a distant collaboration with the mechanical and the machine that feeds us. A work of utmost ambition and scope.
MusicSucks
49
Huge disappointment. This album is annoying at times and can be repulsive. The concept was ok, but the end product, to my untrained ears, sounds nothing special. As of now, I don't get it.
laz456
60
Style way over substance.

Edit: Alright, I'll admit a couple of these songs are great but I'm still not into this album generally.
Doofy
69
Sometimes it sounds too much like Enya drowning in a nanobot soup.

‘Nu Age’ anyone?
TreyLikesBands
81
Great

This is literally horrifying. It's more frightening than Black to Comm's 'Seven Horses for Seven Kings' released in January of this year, and that's saying a lot. It's not scary per se, but it's just unsettling. Are there any other adjectives I could use? Totally, but I don't want to read them all out.

'Frontier' FUCKING BANGS STOPPPP.

I was reading up on this album a bit, and apparently it's a concept album?? OKAY! I don't know, I'm very confused right now. It blew me away at first ... read more
76fex
41
60% conceptual, 30% theoretical, 9% A.I., 1% interesting.

Jlin's contribution was the only one that provided depth.
newslang
83
PROTO is the sound of intelligent collaboration, Holly Herndons third album is an avant garde masterpiece with technology bringing the void closer to the listener. Herndon’s use of artificial intelligence through the creation of “SPAWN” a nascent machine that has learned to interpret sound and composition has skewed the line in how art can be created and the place that AI has in the musical landscape not only as a tool, but as a fellow collaborator.
100
A machine that dreamt it was a choir and loved it. But now the dream is over... and the machine is awake.

A church melting into code.
KengojiUltamYT
61
GAY AI FROGS SINGING GLITCHY GOSPEL SONGS

Best Tracks: Birth,Alienation,Crawler,Frontier,Swim,Bridge
Worst Track: Extreme Love
Plats
88
"PROTO" is a uncomfortably beautiful, richly textured glitch pop record that contains a bunch of great ideas. The most standout of them all is Spawn, an A.I. baby raised by Holly Herndon that has already learned to create quite interesting sounds. It's an amazing concept and I can't wait to see where "Spawn" will be taken next!

Fav Tracks: Frontier, Eternal, Godmother, SWIM, Crawler, Last Gasp, Alienation

Least Fav Track: Bridge

Score:
8.8
Exceptional
hzy0421
90
It is hard to distinguish between machine learning results and human involvement, and I guess those unearthly sounds are not meant to please, but this is something few have experimented before. Herndon's utilization of the AI-produced sounds, and the combination of the avant pop-based tracks and glitch influence, are themselves a kind of gesture and declaration, about our role and conflicted feelings towards a new era of technology.
BFunk32
92
Now this is something else

We’ll look at this album as one of the most important pieces of music in a few years
MasterCrackfox
82
Otherworldly and ethereal, Herndon crafts an album that is at points soothing to the ear and at other times mechanically and sonically deranged. A magnificent mixture of technological sounds and a pure voice make for the kind of experimental void that a listener can easily get trapped in and lost within the soundscape. Somewhere in the middle I was so taken by the record that I had to switch to studio headphones just to glorify all the rich textures, delicate beats and dreamy vocalization. ... read more
amygoodall
64
good
MinatoArisato
30
Nope, yeah I get that a lot of people dig this record but man is it hard to get into. This album feels like it loses a lot of its appeal by trying too hard to be experimental. Most of these songs are just noise to the ear with nothing to make me want to listen to it. This album just isn't for me.

Best Track: Frontier
Worst Track: Godmother
ryanreviews
75
Being a highly experimental album, not every song on here lands. However, on her third album Holly Herndon shows an exceptionally unique take on making music and pushes the boundaries of what is possible. I think this album could be extremely important going into the future if it catches on. The human voice is really used as an instrument on this album which can make the singing offputting at first, but it is pushed to its absolute limits by the AI project Spawn. Spawn is a creation of Holly's ... read more
holsgr
57
☆☆½ ~ I think this is an enjoyable album and pleasant listen overall, but feels a bit inconsistent and unlistenable at times.
choice_kingdom
60
idk man this album sometimes sounded like someone else's child in a restaurant that would not for the love of god shut up
lukassantiago3
82
PROTO may sound difficult to digest to some listeners for now but, the glimpse of the future coming from an artist which imagination is beyond seems pretty clear and easy to understand: art has no borders.
luisdelrey2016
86
PROTO is a concept album technically very well-compiled and well-executed. It is a work that reconciles the eclectic and energetic of Herndon's artistic personality, its magnitude is so impotent and impossible to go unnoticed. By some of many reasons: the background arrangements are exquisite, and in each of them there is a meticulous detail that embellishes, and even more ends up with gleaming more the conceptuality it delivers, and, it is at its exact point of reach, is neither too ... read more
lermontov
87
She connected the cyber music of the future and folk Irish music.
cipater22
85
Have never been much of a fan of Holly's previous albums, but this is fantastic, and will very likely be in my top 10 releases this year.

Favourite tracks: Alienation, Eternal, Frontier
donaldfoss
80
PROTO is unsettling and jagged during most of the duration of the album. Contrasting this with soaring, blissful choruses at other parts highlights the complex and dynamic relationship between humans and A.I. or just technology in general in 2019. While there are some songs that still turn me off, Holly Herndon's latest offers an eclectic mix that no longer treats technology as a tool to achieve a certain sound, but as a separate collaborator.
bikaneal
19
el e 0.5gm
brkn2biggrpcs
79
Do the ideas behind the album sometimes outpace the music? Sure. But Proto is still a glitchy, experimental blend of beats that pound like an electric heart and hyper-auto-tuned vocals that come together in like tribal hymns for robots
Best Tracks: Frontier, Eternal, Godmother
Worst Track: Bridge
71
“PROTO” is an album of extremes for Holly Herndon. A good portion of this album contains some of her most accessible and truly breathtaking sounds to date. But this album also contains some of the ugliest and most perplexing material Holly has touched as well.

Give A Listen To: “Alienation”, “Canaan (Live Training)”, “Frontier”, “Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt”, “SWIM”, “Last Gasp”

Least Favorite Track: ... read more
KingLukas
100
wtaf is this? By far the most unique, ambitious, and experimental album of the year.

Created with the help of an AI on a "souped up gaming PC" Holly Herndon has struck on a really unique concept and one I find difficult to not see being replicated in the near future by other artists. Holly herself has plans to continue working with Spawn AI.

Just to clarify when "help" is used it means that Spawn is a member of the orchestra and not the composer, none of these songs are ... read more
braztom
60
There's nothing wrong with it, but I can't imagine I will ever in my life listen to this again.
createaccount
90
what kind of deaf idiots are sitting here
sekubroski
75
Gotta reign in the rating a little. This album made a very strong first impression on me, but with repeated listens the only songs that stick out to me are Eternal, Frontier, and Godmother. Most of the rest of it feels like background noise.
heitorch
93
Inovador, diferente.
MUITO BOM MESMO

melhores Músicas: Eternal, Frontier
winitheju
64
It's just a really challenging listen
Hypnoglitz
76
Normally cannot click with Herndon's works, but this is clicking. Really interesting sound.
LennyVBerger
85
If this is the future, please let it come.
NR
What the fuck is wrong with her.

EDIT 5/13/2019: Yeah, what I really appreciate about this record is how its almost like something I conceptualized in my head. It reminds me of that bizarre video on the internet with that mannequin-like robot singing "I feel fantastic."
Tsareena
76
I wish there were stronger melodies in general on this. The idea behind the AI Spawn and some of the tracks on this are particularly exciting but there's too much space that's not as exciting and feels like interludes vs. complete tracks. I'm excited to see where Spawn goes though.
Faves: Eternal, Frontier
sevenlives
82
Etéreo, robótico, exótico, gutural e enigmático.
Birth 76
Alienation 80
Canaan (Live Training) 76
Eternal 82
Crawler 80
Extreme Love 78
Frontier 82
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt 80
Swim 82
Evening Shades (Live Training) 80
Bridge 76
Godmother (feat. Spawn) 80
Last Gasp 78
showing 1 - 38 of 38 user reviews

RATING DISTRIBUTION
90-100
 
23

80-89
 
69

70-79
 
35

60-69
 
27

50-59
 
12

40-49
 
5

30-39
 
1

20-29
 

10-19
 
2

0-9
 

73%of users like this album
1%of users don't like this album
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