Romboy's first album was somehow strongly attached to its so-called post-electro-house context, hence its more immediate aura. In…er…contrast, Contrast finds itself going deeper, but without Bodzin's knack for otherworldly atmospheres (think of the duo's "Phobos" collaboration for a paradigmatic example). There is definitely something lacking here. "Iceland"'s rolling and constantly morphing bassline, for instance, does have a Bodzin-like air of creepiness, but the track itself goes on for nine minutes without delivering any actual sense of purpose; current single "Karambolage," on the other hand, is the most upbeat thing on here, but the album version is somewhat pale next to the darker and more effective Oxia and Olivier Grégoire remixes. Only "Sonora" positively echoes Romboy's past instants of mesmeric excellence.
Needless to say, the most immediately enjoyable tracks on here are the ones with guest vocalists. The aforementioned Chelonis R. Jones shows up on three different occasions, most notably on album opener "The Beat," but he sounds more domesticated than usual, even tired at times (the painful "Side FX"). As for Mr. K-Alexi's first collaboration ("E Y Mind"), it goes on about elevating your mind for eight minutes, but it crucially forgets to elevate itself above beat-less spoken-word-driven drivel; as for "Acid Love," it is surely acidic, but it feels sterile and loveless. You are thus left with another Blake Baxter one ("Fly Away"), which is as quirky-house-with-legendary-voice as you'll get.
It's unclear, of course, whether it's Romboy or collaborators 45 Rocks that should be blamed on this one. Either way, it's obvious that it didn't quite work out according to plan. One thing is for sure, though: The deeper and glossy Romboy gets, the dryer and exhausted he sounds.