The UK artist's sixth album is a dramatic and often overwhelming listening experience.
Bodied has a darker tint than its predecessor. Some tracks feel vast and empty—the bleeping synth on opening track "Adrift" sounds like it's echoing into an abyss—while loud-quiet dynamics define the album's bigger moments. The use of icy choral pads and the air of desolation lends Bodied a science fiction feel elevated by the stirring use of strings, like cello and violin, that meld with synths to create futuristic textures ("Vanta," "Bodied"). Myson weaves smooth melodies into rumbling basslines in ways that hint at the soundtrack work of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
Most of Bodied's tracks build to dramatic crescendos, and the combination of soaring synths and stirring strings is dazzling at first. Over time, though, the effect becomes numbing, especially with no clear narrative. On tracks like "Across Time," "Become Real" and "Vanta" the music's climactic swells start to seem indistinct from each other, and few moments stick out once the album's finished. It's a bit like a film from the Transformers franchise: at some point, the relentless action turns into a blur of gleaming CGI metal, violence and roaring sound, without much in the way of plot to keep you invested.
One track that does stand apart is the majestic "Blood Rain." Its fluttering synth leads build tension through weaving and layering delicate melodies, all while one pulsing chord ominously keeps time. There are no meteoric climaxes; instead, "Blood Rain" builds a nuanced and evocative mood without resorting to clichés. It's the track on Bodied that best reflects the influence of soundtrack work on Myson, music that feels powerful without being obvious or obtrusive. The rest of Bodied feels like a film score made for a blockbuster that isn't there. The LP's sculpted sound, dreamy sketches and haughty melodrama rarely feels like more than the sum of its often stunning parts.