Yves Tumor - Heaven to a Tortured Mind

Devrim Berk Gürakar
April 3, 2020
[art rock, neo-psych]

There are two things we always expect to get from Yves tumor: noise and chaos. But there is often beauty in chaos, and Yves Tumor always manages to find it. The title of Tumor's latest album, "Heaven to a Tortured Mind", then seems appropriate and feels particularly moving in such difficult times. Not a single emotion is spared, as manic breakdowns pass into polished pop and moments of melancholy. However, through this chaos and emotional warfare, Tumor seems to find peace. As we would expect from an artist who became famous for Serpent Music's distorted ambient collages, this reinvention is anything but ordinary.  Throughout the album, the songs change frequently from big rock numbers and soulful funk jam songs to paranoid outbursts when he attacks melodies and hits hooks. The superb opener "Gospel For a New Century" quickly overwhelms the senses with rumbling hip-hop bass lines, shocked brass loops and stuttering rhythms. Somehow, Tumor manages to combine all these different elements into a deceptively powerful song.

From "Hasdallen Lights" the album reaches a satisfactory plateau; the rhythm remains intact, the pop sensibility shines. What follows are undeniably audible tracks that combine different elements of glam, indie rock, and soul - slightly deformed into the uncanny. The highlight "Folie Imposée" retains the melancholic fear of Yves mind-blowingly great album "Safe in the Hands of Love" but as more of a fragile fragment than a fully worked out excursion. 

Tumor has not completely lost contact with its experimental roots. In "Asteroid Blues", instead of a guitar riff, white noise is heard as a counterpoint to the funky bass and drum work. Tumor is more than just a rock star and proves that he can be pretty much anything. "Kerosene!" begins as a duet ballad with avant-garde R&B singer Diana Gordon until an electric guitar solo suddenly explodes.

The album with all its peculiarities will be remembered as one of the most important rock albums of our time as a final piece - a pop star that is as genre-bending as the legends of the 70s and 80s that we hold on such a pedestal to this day.


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