2010's Into The Great Wide Yonder was so grand and cinematic, you might have thought Anders Trentemøller had moved from Copenhagen to Hollywood. On Lost, he's gone in the opposite direction. While some music sounds like it belongs in a Paul Thomas Anderson film or an explosive episode of Breaking Bad, this is mostly a song-based album, with guest vocalists (Low, the Drums' Jonny Pierce, Sune Wagner of the Raveonettes) at the fore. With their help, Trentemøller explores the influences he collected on Harbour Boat Trips—gothic Americana, mordant indie-rock, primitive electro—but shoots them through with the rippling electronica you expect from the man who made that techno masterpiece, The Last Resort.
It's a wild, theatrical and, at times, bloated ride. In 12 tracks that run to well over an hour, Trentemøller veers from alt country ("The Dream") through propulsive electro-rock ("River of Life") and on into several Krautrock odysseys. "Trails" starts out as a glam rock stomp and eventually peaks in a delirious rush, welding the glossy trance of Gui Boratto to the rhythmic complexity of James Holden. It exemplifies Trentemøller's tendency to cram in a million ideas where three would do.
Lost is so big and so clever that it's easy to be taken by it, at least initially. There is a dazzling technical brilliance to "Constantinople" (think: The Doors' Ray Manzarek joining Neu! to interpret a Hindu raga) or "Gravity," which recasts Mercury Rev's bittersweet psychedelia in an electronic context. But despite all the imagination at play, the more you listen to it, the more there seems to be something hollow in such showmanship. Lost is an intelligent record, but it lacks the cohesive focus and emotional resonance of a great one. It is at its most effective and affecting when Trentemøller reins himself in and keeps it simple. The Kittin-ish electro of Wagner's track, "Deceive," and Johnny Pierce's perfectly-tuned pop song "Never Stop" are the best things here. But would Trentemøller ever produce a whole album that direct and purposeful? Don't hold your breath.
Tracklist: Trentemøller - Lost01. The Dream feat. Low
02. Gravity feat. Jana Hunter
03. Still On Fire
04. Candy Tongue feat. Marie Fisker
06. Never Stop Running feat. Jonny Pierce of The Drums
07. River Of Life feat. Ghost Society
09. Come Undone feat. Kazu Makino
10. Deceive feat. Sune Rose Wagner
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