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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Paper Mâché Dream Balloon CD (album) cover


King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.73 | 82 ratings

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5 stars This is a near perfect album in my opinion, so very close. Continuing from the chill vibes from last album, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon is a very much indie/rock very slightly progressive feeling and contains, in my opinion, some of the strongest melodies that the band has ever produced. It takes on an entirely acoustic route that hasn't been seen before in their music, and is definitely heavily inspired by the Beatles melodically and harmonically. The mix is great, the songs don't feel out of place, it's a very strong entry in their discography. The themes of greed, and death are a very odd choice for what is otherwise a very calming album, the eerie lyrics contrasting the happy-go-lucky soundtrack around them.

Sense is a lot of fun, and one of their most popular songs to date. The acoustic bass undertones the other woodwind instruments playing over-top. As is with a lot of the album, its a simple, short, and effective regarding the themes and music. The piano and soft singing in this one is what gets to me, it's nearly impossible to not nod your head to this one.

Bone is really great, and is a little more varied than the first song on the track, with an entirely different ending, solo bits and more focus on flute. Also super catchy and noddable. The use of the arco on the bass is really great, and adds to the end with the pull-off.

Dirt is a perfect song in my opinion. It has one of the best melodies they've ever composed and has such a nice use of all the instruments, everything is in place on this one. The chord progression, the vocals, everything on this one makes it a 10/10. The harmonica as well is really great.

Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, the title track which has another really insanely strong melody and progression, it's just a fantastic song. It's a little more energetic going into the double time and has some of my favourite lyrics. The instrumental section is a highlight for me, as well as the sudden diminished ending.

Trapdoor is a pretty silly track, but this is where there's a change in style in terms of lyrics, going from silly to a little more sinister, and eerie. Goes into 2/4 on some of the 'trapdooooor, trapdooooor' parts, making it fun to count. The vocals are a lot more varied on this one and are probably the most fun on this album. The piano chords are probably my least favourite, and the song doesn't really go anywhere, doesn't have a different ending or anything. (the music video is great for this one though)

Cold Cadaver feels very similar to the other progressions in previous songs, but lyrically its different. It continues the ominous kind of trend, talking about a corpse with very happy music. The harmonica whenever it shows after the chorus is awesome, kind of bluesy, maybe foreshadowing the next song. A little touch of sitar that appears later as well. This one is just good for me.

Bitter Boogie goes so hard, and is also one of my favourites. Very catchy, very upbeat and has a bit of a shuffle-type triplet swing to it. The bass line is really effective. The tuning the guitar down during the breaks is great, and works with the bluesy vibe. Ambroses section is really great in this one, using the more gravely parts of his voice. The section at 2:20 with the dimished feel is sooo good. A really fantastic song.

N.G.R.I. (Bloodstain) is maybe the weakest for me on the album. A touch too repetitive, and feels s little lacklustre melodically considering the other competitors on this album. The sitar is a really nice addition, and maybe why it doesn't have much motion considering the drone. Similar to Trapdoor has some 2/4 bars thrown in. Stu's voice on this one is cool, a little deeper to change it up a bit.

Time = Fate is not bad, not one of Cookies best songs, but its solid. A tiny bit cheesy for my liking, but not bad. Has some really great chords on the chorus, and utilizes harmony for the flute which works really well. The instrumentals on this one are great.

Time = $$$ is another one of their best. Keeps a really great groove, really great chord progression and everything. The melody is really amazing on this one. The drums doing different fills at the same time is a great thing to listen to. This one has a little more focus on the guitar. It also keeps the critique of greed going, and has pretty fun lyrics to go along with that.

Most of What I Like is more mellow and fits well on the album. The vocals in the background doing harmony is something I noticed just on this listen, and it's really cool. Stu on the clarinet is great and he does this kind of strained vibrato by adding more air that sounds pretty fitting (this also happens on Sense). The harmony on the 'you always shut your eyes...' part is soooo good, and adds the more Beatles-y element to this one. Ending has a fun blues jam as well.

Paper Mâché is such an amazing wrap up to the album, using the flute to create a medley of all the themes played in a row. The transitions and the changes to each song are also really great, which is likely done to keep the same mood and tempo going through the song. I'm not really a fan of the rewinding that happens, but I can appreciate the experimental (possibly thematic?) ending to this piece. Explosion = Funny.

Issues: I think my only issues are really that some of the songs aren't as good as others which is not even that great of a critique haha, it really is just an amazing album.

Strengths: This one honestly is just so good, it's varied, it flows, great lyrics, mix, everything. It takes very simple forms and progressions and adds so much harmonically using the various acoustic instruments. The chill nature of this album is so great to listen to, and I can easily listen from back to front this entire thing.

I'm giving this one 5 stars because it's way closer to 5 than 4. It's not perfect, but it is really close. It's a masterclass in newer indie rock that takes inspiration from the old, and incorporates new things.

GameSwitcher | 5/5 |


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