I’ve been wanting to get to this record for a bit now, but due to other albums that I was interested in taking up my time I hadn’t been able to get around to it until now where it seems like a lot of the bigger releases have slowed down for a bit. And while I don’t think “To See The Next Part of the Dream” is one of the best releases this year, I do see why Parannoul’s latest release will likely go down as an internet cult classic.
Not much is known about Parannoul as the creator seems to be intentionally secretive about the project, coming across as though they don’t necessarily care about fame but instead creating something that leaves an impact on the listener. In fact, this record is inspired by other artists who have done the same, not necessarily known to the public and living a fairly normal life yet creating a project that people have strong memories attached to. Many people fairly compare “To See The Next Part of the Dream” to, well, a dream, and it’s easy to see why. Parannoul’s blend of shoegaze, emo, and lo-fi music sounds more like a memory of an album than an album itself, being built off of haunting and looping guitar and piano melodies, walls of synths, garage sounding drums, and washed out vocals that hide behind the music. While I do agree with this notion, the first thing that came to my head while listening is that this album sounds like a hangover, with its atmosphere sounding melancholic, burnt out, and depressed, which I also think is reflected in the lyrics.
As far as criticisms go, the first issue I have with “To See The Next Part of the Dream” is its length and its structure. While I do like how the music loops in such a way that gives the album a hypnotic quality, I still think some songs are longer than they need to be and the album’s runtime could have shaved off at least fifteen minutes. More than anything though, I was let down by how straightforward this was for a shoegaze listen, not doing much that hasn’t been done before. Sure, there is a lot of great moments here, but there was also plenty of times where I felt like I’ve heard music like this before on last records. From the little info we know about Parannoul I’m guessing they’re still trying to find their sound, but it’s hard for me to be too invested in a record that isn’t that unique among its peers.
Despite this, I still think Parannoul created a sonically beautiful sounding record that succeeds in taking you into its world. While I may not love “To See The Next Part of the Dream”, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that will find something special about this and Parannoul will have succeeded in making something that stay with people long after Parannoul has hidden away from the world.