Washed Out – Within And Without

(Sub Pop)

Rating: NNN

If the cover image of a naked couple frozen mid-coitus is any indication, the debut LP from Washed Out finds Atlanta-based musician Ernest Greene in a baby-making mood. Lately it seems like the sensual, slowed-down pleasures of R&B have overtaken the indie world, though Greene’s been on the love train since 2009’s Life Of Leisure EP.

Opener Eyes Be Closed eases listeners into his somnambulistic haze of vocal delays, drum loops and shimmering synths. What follows is a slightly more assertive take on this, with driving dance beats and percussion reminiscent of his juiced-up live show. Things turn positively loungey (and cringe-worthy) on You And I, as Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek does her best Princess Stephanie impression on a spoken word interlude.

The album drowns in atmospherics to the point where it could be entirely instrumental. Greene casts an enjoyably suggestive spell but it wafts right through you.

Top track: Echoes

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