The most immediately grabbing tune on Scared is without a doubt the title track (which, if you're interested, is available for free with the artist's permission on Little White Earbuds). Tin Man is a master of noir-ish suspense, and this one shows his talents at full tilt: from beginning to end, he flirts with a punchy minimal beat that never quite delivers, clicking into place for one bar and falling apart the next, over and over again. This tension is enhanced by some sleep-deprived chords and murky background sounds, and somewhere, very far back, one of his old acid synth lines.
As on the rest of the record, Auvinen sounds cool and calm, but also in the furthest reach of exhaustion, slurring each half-sung line as if with heavy eyelids. His lyrics are haunting and poetic, and provided you can deal with their broodiness, very impressive. "Zone Unknown" sounds a bit like Soul Capsule's "Waiting 4 a Way," but with lyrics that sound totally oblivious to dance music's usual tropes ("We don't ever really lose ourselves, now do we?") "Birds" ticks along with an eerie lullaby-like quality, while "Self Help" feeds a litany of oblique advice through a vocoder, conjuring Kubrick-esque discomfort. On "Defendant," the record's most austere track, Auvinen repeats the line "defendant… please rise" over a menacing drone and distant pulse.
These deep and dark musings are balanced out (somewhat) by tracks like "Fish," a languid but groovy breakbeat number. "Stand by Me" is the most grounded tune here, with a fairly normal techno beat and romantic lyrics, but it's also by far the weakest. Though the results can be quite drab and depressing, Auvinen is at his best when following his oddest impulses.