Michael McCrindle, aka Anagram Norton, produces sounds with varying instruments and electronics. Though he mainly composes dance music, he also constructs soundtrack style compositions. McCrindle’s passion for different musical genres shows in his album Shine. This album creates a unique hybrid of a variety of music categories, including ambience, techno and even rock.
“Grey Skies” stands out in Shine for its creative nature. With McCrindle using robotic voice-overs, it represents a playful sound. The robotic voice is difficult to understand. However, the lyrics are not what give this song a special quality; it is the explosion of beats. “Grey Skies” forces listeners into a treasure hunt of sounds. Every new listen reveals new instruments hidden beneath another layer of music. Overall this song creates a futuristic, whimsical atmosphere.
“Dammit, Monica” also adds musical complexity to Shine. This is the only song on the album with clear lyrics. It’s the most commercial song on the album. “Dammit, Monica” categorizes more of a rock musical genre, similar to songs heard on The Spring Awakening or American Idiot soundtracks. The “Elevated Waterfalls” track takes on an almost call and response tone with the introduction of new instruments. After each set of sounds and instruments, a new set emerges to respond to that one. Another ambitious element to “Elevated Waterfalls” is the sounds of actual waterfalls being included in it.
Shine takes many intriguing musical risks. McCrindle manages to invent songs that could fit into different elements of life. Everything from songs that work as perfect dance club beats to songs ready for a scene in the movie of our lives. The album sometimes lacks focus, but it creates its own structure. For that, Shine is a cool exploration of music.
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