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Album Review: Half a Human by Real Estate

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Real Estate is a five piece indie rock band from New Jersey (now in New York). I had originally reviewed their fifth studio album, The Main Thing about a year ago. I was surprised to see that they were releasing a new project, except as an EP since it was so close to their previous project. Half a Human marks their latest EP.
 
The first track from the EP is Desire Path. This is exactly what I would have expected from Real Estate to start off the project. You get your layer of different guitar instruments, but you also get some orchestral strings that add a nice touch. The only thing that did surprise, or shock me, was the length of this track since it's only a minute and a half. Other than that, it seems like the purpose of this track is to just serve an introduction to the EP, even if it doesn't run into the next track.

While I did say the previous track was what I would expect from Real Estate, Half a Human is even more of your typical Real Estate track. The glitzy and glorious guitars layered on top of each other just puts me back to the first time I started listening to them. This was also one of the promotional singles for the album, so I'm fairly familiar with this track as I paid close attention to this release. The best part of the track starts at the halfway point since we have a three minute outro. When the track gets quieter, it gives you the illusion that the track is about to end, but then they hit you in the face while slowly increasing the volume.
 
Soon continues with your typical Real Estate vibe. The guitars are a bit more playful and adventurous compared to the previous track since the guitars seem to jump up and down with their notes. However, the bridge towards the end does give me a glimpse of some nice guitar playing with the descending part. Other than that, I guess I'm not that into the vocals for this track. It just seems like it's a bit too plain from what they usually put out.

D+ is definitely a stray away from their usual tracks that they make. They also experimented a bit more with The Main Thing so I really shouldn't be that surprised. The beginning introduction definitely has a classic rock vibe though. The vocals are much different than what I would expect from them on this track so they're evening experimenting with their vocals. If you could tell by now, I'm not too thrilled with this track since I was just starting to enjoy sinking into the Real Estate vibe.

The longer the Real Estate track, the better time you are going to have. When I saw that In the Garden was six and a half minutes in length, I knew they had something good cooked up for us. The track started off on a boring note, but the different harmonies introduced on the chorus are a nice touch. As I said, the true magic comes from the longer tracks. The last half of this track is a jam session that just lets you melt into their music and lose time. Granted, you do have to sit through the first half which may be a bit of a turn off for some, but the last half is definitely worth the wait.

One of the final tracks we have on the EP is Ribbon. It's definitely one of those toned down tracks that we have on the project, but it's still in typical Real Estate fashion. Even though it's one of those shorter tracks, we still have an instrumental outro which is a nice addition to end the EP (besides the edited version of Half a Human). It's a bit surprising though that the track ends with a more than ten second fade.

The last official track from the EP is an edited version of Half a Human. Like I said in the track review above, there's really nothing to add to this. It's still the same track which makes it awesome, but it's cut down nearly a minute and a half from it's original length.

Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: Half a Human, In the Garden
 
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