There's plenty to be said about the ways in which AG Cook's PC Music, an odd collective of bright pop producers, has serenely worked its way into the charts. What started as an oddity has now turned into a powerhouse, producing flagrantly synthetic hits for huge artists. What first seemed like "eye roll-inducing art school conceptualism," we wrote in March, has become a "pop empire."
The long-awaited PC Music Vol. 2, released Friday, still makes plays for this mainstream insurgency. Danny L Harle and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Super Natural," for example, takes all of Jepsen's irresistible hedonism and pumps it full of sugar. But PC Music Vol. 2 uses moments like those to lull its listener into a false sense of security; it jacks itself up, gets high on its own melodies, and then begins to glitch. AG Cook's "Superstar" starts as a ballad, but the Ibiza synths kick in and then overload the system, inching towards dissonance; easyFun and Noonie Bao's "Monopoly," too, breaks down and flickers like a busted old computer screen, its oversaturated melodies quickly collapsing.
By the time you're into Felicita's "a new family," the album has relocated and set up inside a computer virus. It is, genuinely, a little terrifying. Thankfully the "art school conceptualism" isn't here this time, but that doesn't mean that it lacks a concept at all. Starting out innocuous and then jarring, stalling, upsetting its audience with intent—after the last two weeks, I should really get off Facebook.
Various Artists - PC Music Vol. 2
Justice - Woman
Gucci Mane x Future - Free Bricks 2
Metallica - Hardwired… To Self-Destruct
Miranda Lambert - The Weight of These Wings
E-40 - The D-Boy Diary: Book 1 and The D-Boy Diary: Book 2
Thee Oh Sees - An Odd Entrances
D∆WN - Redemption
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