Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)
Photos by Tobin Voggesser
Lotus’s new self-titled album marks a departure from their previous house-rock sound to avenues of hip-hop and drum and bass. Released today via SCI Fidelity records, Lotus reaches for newer heights but fails to match the quality of previous studio works. Absent are the bright compositions and fiery guitar solos that defined the group during their years of growth; they have been replaced by heavy-handed keyboards and synth bass that are often too high in the mix, drowning out the guitar and even the drums at times. The release comes across as a contrived attempt to sound like contemporaries rather than build upon their former artistic style that was once fresh and wholly original.
There are a few bright spots worthy of praise. Tunes such as hip-hop influenced “Dowrn” and the melodically beautiful “Orchids” are well-crafted and engaging while bringing about multiple emotions throughout the listening journey. However, much of the album drags due to thematic repetition coupled with a lack of instrumental interplay, and although many newer Lotus fans may find enjoyment in the revamped, electronically focused sound, fans of roots music who are looking for a organically charged group effort will be disappointed.