Synth EP Review: "Star Blur" by Eden Future
Star Blur is an EP that showcases Eden Future’s intricate, shredding guitar work, his energetic songwriting and his impressive lead synth melodies, which dance perfectly over the top of solid drums and bass.
Star Blur EP Review
Some synthwave albums are dominated by the lead synth but I’d argue that in the case of Star Blur, the guitar takes the dominant role. Eden Future is clearly a confident, skilled axe master and his chops come through loud and clear on this EP. Not only can he shred with the best, but there are more melodic, lyrical passages as well. There’s a general sense of triumphant risng energy about the guitar work on the album and it blends nicely with the other elements.
That’s not to say that his lead synth work is anything less than well done. There are some great synth leads that have a melodic energy to them that suits the overall feeling of this album well. He’s not lacking in talent on the keys eitiher. I just feel that the guitar here does have the stronger voice.
Speaking of strong voices, the vocals that Alenis performs on "Gone By" are strong, emotive and expressive. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her voice and the lyrics to the track are also well-done, but more on that later. Suffice to say, I think she added a very pleasing element to the EP.
The other aspect of Star Blur that I enjoyed was the way that Eden Future wrote it to really create a strong sense of imagery. Each track has a way of drawing pictures in my head and conveying a different part of this star journey on which the EP took me.
As it is an EP, I will review all of the tracks because I feel that each one deserves a solid review!
“Star Blur” is lead by Eden Future’s guitar as it flies out over the pounding synth bass and moving drums. There’s a feeling of flowing movement behind it, as heavier sounds rumble and throb underneath. The guitar solo carries us into hyperdrive through the stars. The synths provide starlight that is gentler and easier than the howling guitar sounds over top of them. Together they lock into a feeling of interstellar speed.
The pounding beat and howling guitar that climbs over it open up “Cyber Mind.” There’s such an uplifting feeling to the guitar as the dark bass pulsation keeps everything moving forward. The whole track has a growing, expansive feeling to it as it develops. There are many layers to the sounds here and a churning, whirling solo spins its way out into the track, rising and descending wildly as that insistent beat pushes onward. I love the high notes that Eden Future plays before a cool pitch-bending synth solo kicks in with more of that whirling feeling to it.
“Hyper Driver” starts slowly but quickly smacks into hyperdrive. The guitar that opens the track gives way to a driving, progressive synth melody and then intricately moving bass notes before that guitar shreds and slices into the synth. The sense of acceleration given by relentless arps is massive and the overdriven power of the electric guitar adds to the rushing charging sensation of the music. I did feel as if I was being launched at great speed into space.
There’s a driving and powerful pulse to “Gone By” and along with the yearning guitar melody with a nice minor feeling, Alenis’ strong voice sings well-written lyrics. The vocal melody is very strong and the continually oscillating bassline adds an extra level of energy to the music
The lyrics to this song talk about the aftermath of a relationship and the emotional fallout from it. It opens with the line, “I stop and think of times gone by when mine was another life.” There is deep emotion in the words such as, “We built a house all made of stone but, I couldn’t do it on my own and you were there to share your soul.”
The sadness is deep as Alenis sings, “Now you're a coin tossed in a hole, but time has proved that nothing lasts and you’re not coming back” and her voice aches as she delivers the line, “Stupid mistakes that could be overcome that got so bad because you stopped feeling the need for me.”
The guitar work on “Universal Transmission” has an impassioned feel and it is backed up by the martial throb of a snare drum. I also found the chip sounds that played the arps quite compelling on this track. There is definitely a sense of intensity delivered by the notes that cry out from Eden Future’s guitar. The contrasting martial passages and low, drifting notes add a nice balance to the track and I think the minor key guitar melody has some serious guts.
The steady throbbing synth bass and bright rising synth chords that open “Blacklight Sky” are quickly joined by long howls of guitar that drive out into the track. Eden Future’s guitar work is exciting with his quick fingers dancing on the strings. There’s a sense of soaring about this track as well as nice tempo changes that see the music slow before leaping forward again, repeating in a surging tide.
“Sunsets” has a classic synthwave beat, yowling guitar and a voiceover from Eden Future. The combination of that great synthwave feeling with stabs of synth that fly along with the cascading, leaping guitar. There’s real energizing power and drama on a track with a strong Outrun feeling to it as it unfolds itself and again shows off what EF can do on the axe.
Star Blur is an EP that has a great level of energy and a strong sense of imagery. I enjoy how Eden Future has used the musical tools at his disposal to create an EP which has such a good feeling to it and one that encourages repeat listens.