Holly Herndon - PROTO
May 14, 2019
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 ever as the mode of interrogation. But for a project that has such a wild concept, I found many of the tracks forgettable. The last thing I thought I would feel after listening to this album was understimulated, but I am left wanting so much more. I think the album could be pushed so much further, and while I appreciate her work, this record felt like an experiment rather than a truly and fully realized project.

I may try to return to this when I am not feeling so frustrated by the album. I had high hopes for this record, but after multiple listens I am still more interested in the concept than the music. Hopefully, Herndon continues to expand her sound and challenge my listening experience. She has such an inventive ear for production; I don't think this album necessarily demonstrates her fullest potential as an artist.
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