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Album Review: Invisible People by Chicano Batman

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Chicano Batman is an indie pop/rock band from California. Even though they have been around since 2008, I actually didn't discover them until late 2019. I actually discovered them through the band Crumb, since I wanted to go to their show in Phoenix. After listening to their fourth studio album, Invisible People, in full, I can definitely see myself adding this album to my Spotify playlist.

The first track off the album is Color my life. It starts out with a light and playful pop sound. This is probably one of their most popular tracks and was the first single for their album. It has a nice lo-fi sound to it during the chorus which adds a nice aesthetic. Overall, the chorus would definitely be my favorite part of the track.

Blank Slate is my personal favorite from the album and was their third and final promotional single for the album. I actually had a really hard time getting into the introduction and the verses, but they grew on me. The best part of the track is obviously the chorus and of course the guitar interludes after. The chorus is just a fun pop anthem for the album with the glitzy guitar sounds. The electronic guitar interlude at the end adds more volume to the track.

After that, we have I know it which is also the shortest track off the album. It has cheerful guitar riffs with some light synths in the background. One thing I noticed though is that the vocals during the chorus are oddly reminiscent of Kevin Parker's from Tame Impala. Definitely not a bad thing, but it does make the song slightly better.

Invisible People is more pop psychedelic in feeling. As I've said on the last track, the vocals during the chorus sound reminiscent of Tame Impala's. With the mix of the pop psychedelic instrumentation, it could be that Tame Impala was a huge influence on this track. The beautiful guitar chord that comes in on the last "Spinnin' the world around you" is just so beautiful in sound. The washed-out instruments capture the psychedelic sound well.

After that heavy psychedelic sound, we come back to Manuel's Story. It has a very heavy indie rock feeling to it with the wall of guitars that open up the track. However, when the synth comes into the track, it changes the entire dynamic of the track, but it actually works well. It seems like they trade back and forth between the rock feeling and the synths with every other verse.

Next, we have Moment of Joy. It's definitely one of the slower tracks on the album. The track opens up with a wailing and distorted guitar sound but eventually backs off when the vocals come in. It seems like the artist is happy when he is with this one girl, but with some references, it could also mean being high.

One track that I could never really get into is Pink Elephant. The verses start off with a popular idiom, which references a pink elephant in the room. The "elephant in the room" refers to a problem that people don't normally want to talk about. Pink elephants on the other hand usually refer to hallucinations. Judging by the lyrics of the track, it's about this girl that really isn't good for this person, or that she is negative in nature.

Polymetronomic Harmony starts off with this high pitched note that ends up getting reverbed for the first few seconds of the track. Then an acoustic guitar eventually makes its way in. The track sounds lo-fi which makes it seem raw in nature.

The Way is another lo-fi type of track based on the recording. The instrumentals sound something similar to the 70s or 80s. Not too big on the vocals on this track, which is probably one of the only tracks on the album I'm not big about. The track oddly ends with repeating bell arpeggios.

The Prophet starts out with a catchy guitar riff, then backs off for the vocals. This is another track I'm not big on the vocals. During the chorus, the lead singer seems like he's stressing the vocals too much and he's going out of his vocal range.

Next, Bella brings us to a beach-like summer vibe with the guitar. On top of that, the first verse compares a girl to the ocean and sand at a beach. It's a quick track, but the track is mainly talking about this girl and how she is perfect for this person. The track ends with them repeating the name "Bella."

The last track and also the longest track of the album is Wounds. The first noticeable difference is the piano. Once it cuts out, you have a twangy guitar in the background. Maybe this will grow on me later, but it's definitely not my favorite closer. It just seems slow and different from the rest of their album. As much as it's okay for bands to experiment with different styles, you should not pile on your "extras" at the end of an album.

As strong as the album started out, I was a bit disappointed towards the last few tracks of the album. If you have the strong energy going at the beginning of the album, you need to match that intensity by the end.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Color my life, Blank Slate, Invisible People, Manuel's Story

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