ERIN TOBEY: Middlemaze: LP

The title of the record brought to mind the Buddha’s Middle Path, and I thought that the record might be a concept record of sorts. Once I started listening to the record, I thought the title might be a reference to something more concrete, namely the sound on the record. That is, Erin Tobey traverses ground that middles between indie pop and Americana—a maze through the middle of the two, if you will. Some songs, however, fall firmly in one camp or the other, such as the indie pop opener to the backside, “Work It Out.” While the song was enjoyable on its own, it felt disjointed given the more Americana tracks flanking it. That track was the most memorable misplaced piece of music on the record, but others also seem ill fitting. There were some tracks that definitely caught my attention, such as “Leaf Pile,” which fell on the indie side of the tracks, and “Flotsam in the Wake” (which followed “Work It Out”). Unfortunately, I felt like I was waiting for the album to really take off at too many points, so the album seemed to lose momentum quite often. Pretty hit or miss, with some soft hits. –Vincent (Let’s Pretend)