Breathe Owl Breath | Passage of Pegasus | Review
I’m not quite sure what to make of this one—on the one hand, Passage of Pegasus is a tidy little dream pop album with tight instrumentals and a light concept; on the other... no, I just don’t know. A short anecdote:
Once upon a time, I found myself on a late night adventure deep down the Interweb rabbit hole when I came across a series of videos by one Professor Soap (by his own account, he makes “music, art, and happiness” for the uninitiated—present company very much included until then). The short musicals (see “Spirit Quest Journey” for a primer) were strange, trippy—amusing, certainly—but then they were through, and I was left wondering, what’s the point?
I’m not saying Breathe Owl Breathe is Professor Soap, or vice versa. But this idea of novelty that carries both products is a tough one for me to fully get behind when the end result is something of a neutral affair (think Polyphonic Spree on a heavy Xanax dose)—in the end, it all just seems a bit overwrought for the sake of minor notoriety in small, alternative circles.
Now, let’s be clear, there are some pleasing moments on the record, and the set really doesn’t do anything wrong per se—“Silent Movie Real” boasts adept yet casually enjoyable instrumentals, “Hologram” sounds like Eddie Vedder leading his flannel-wearing tribe on a vision quest, and—speaking of which—the actual “Vision Quest” here, with its whimsical, joyfully surreal delivery, gives Breathe Owl Breathe a banner track to hang their hats on. (Whatever those hats are supposed to be.)
In the end, if I had to cut Passage of Pegasus to a one-line tag, I’d say the record is something akin to David Bowie hosting story time for the grandkids in full get-up. And that’s certainly something; I just think I’d rather pop in Dylan’s “Hurricane” if I’m looking for a heady folktale with some strings.