Celldweller’s Offworld Review: Uncharted Odyssey

If you’ve never heard any of Klayton’s music, chances are you are wrong. You may have heard his work in correlation with the likes of Crackdown, Kickbeat, Dead Rising 2, Black Mass, Watchdogs, Deadpool, John Wick, Hawaii Five-O, Superman Returns, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Robocop, and SO much more. The man is nothing if not eclectic in style, and while Celldweller has always fallen within the same musical tropes for the past few albums, Offworld decides to take a completely different direction.

In the event you’ve listened to his previous albums, you would probably expect heavy beats, aggressive speed, and lyrics you can sing with when you’re not feeling your best. Much like Pink Floyd did with the Final Cut, the latest album decides to take things a bit slower. Not in an easy listening sort of way, but in the manner of a never ending crescendo. And by no means is that a bad thing, as it keeps you on edge throughout.

Admittedly, my first time through the album, none of the songs stuck out as something I loved. But to be fair, I was expecting a certain sound that you won’t find here. It was a blessing though, because instead of skipping through songs to listen to the ones I enjoyed, I was able to listen to the whole album without issue. And it didn’t take long to learn the intricacies that Klayton uses this time around. The instruments take more of a backseat, being more ambient than usual, with the focus on his voice and lyrics. The tones of his voice are in the spotlight this time around, serving as the main instrument even if you can’t make out the words. You’ll still hear the signature sound of his voice, but there is a lot of exploration here that you typically don’t find on a Celldweller album.

Listening to the album my tenth time through, there are a few songs that stand out amongst the rest. The strongest songs on the album are The Great Divide, Too Many Tears, and Own Little World. There’s so much emotion in each of these, and they truly bring you to another place. If you’ve listened to Scandroid, you’ve likely heard the song Awakening With You. You’ll have the opportunity to hear two variations of it on this album, with a much more stripped down sound. Including Klayton’s version of it, Ulrich Schnauss also has a remix of it. If you’re familiar with Tangerine Dream, you may have an idea of how this sounds – quite honestly, it’s magical.

Of course, the album isn’t perfect. There are songs that are not nearly as strong as the others. Echoes does just what you’d think based on the name, which rides on the verge of annoying. On the bright side, the songs surrounding it are heightened because of it. If you’re looking for something mellower than the norm from Celldweller, you’ll really enjoy this album. There’s a lot to love, you just need to have an open mind. Even if you aren’t usually a fan of mellow music, I suggest giving this one a listen or five.

8 out of 10

Pros

  • Successful New Direction
  • Strong Writing

Cons

  • Some Bloated Tracks

Offworld was created by Celldweller under the FiXT label. It went on presale June 23rd, and will be available on July 28th, 2017. The album was provided to us for review. If you’d like to see more of Klayton, check out the official site.

 

Here at GBG we use a rating method that you are more than likely familiar with – a scale of 1 to 10. For clarification, we intend on using the entire scale: 1-4 is something you should probably avoid paying for; 5-7 is something that is worth your time, but probably not at full price; 8-10 is a great album that you can feel confident about buying. If you have any questions or comments about how we rate music, please let us know.

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