“In a dream you called me up and asked me quietly if I would like to meet you for a drink, but when I got there you just looked at me as you spoke to yourself,” Marc Bianchi sings on “You and Me,” from The Past Presents the Future, his latest recording venture as Her Space Holiday. It's a sentiment that obviously suggests a cold detachment, but also an inability to do anything about it. With his whispered vocals over synthetic strings and intricately programmed rhythms, the Bianchi we hear throughout TPPTF always echoes that alienated protagonist, even when the tone of the music suggests otherwise. During moments of uptempo beats and major-key Rhodes piano, you expect to hear Bianchi joyously cry out to party people just waiting to raise their hands; during instrumental tangents that recall the Jackson 5 or Eminem, among others, you expect to hear a belted soul vocal or a fast rap. But instead he sings subtly about expectations, depression, rusty spoons, gasoline, and displaced love. While once an MO of mixing understated singing with retro-tinged programming made HSH sound fresh, here it comes off as dated. The idea of pitting joyous music against downer vocals is a neat one, but you just end up wishing Bianchi's delivery and lyrical content allowed for something a tad more interesting.
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