Years is the pseudonym for the solo workings of Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene fame, and the 12 songs on his self-titled debut are, according to the press release, “a time stamp and music is about the moment and taking what inspired you at that moment. What inspires you now is not what sparked you five years ago or what will spark you five years from now.” Unlike the work of Do Make Say Think, however, the songs here are more closely corollary to one another. The opening “Kids Toy Love Affair,” pensive and dreamy, at first feels like it could double as the score to Heidi but builds to something that is more majestic and profound leaving the listener free of reluctance and full of curiosity. This is followed up by “Don’t Let The Blind Go Deaf,” a more straightforward twangy track reminiscent of the sounds on José González’s Veneer.
“Hey Cancer…Fuck You!” is the most notable of a few “wall of sound” style tracks that use digitally sequenced orchestral arrangements intermittently with the acoustic strumming that the entire album is based upon. The adept plucking on a song like “The Assassination of Dow Jones” serves as a voucher for the precise instrumentation that is dappled across Years, while the standout on the album could be the not so ironically titled track “The Major Lift,” which is terribly motivating with its focused horn explosions backed by electronic samplings.
Aside from brief and quasi-coherent vocals from Do Make Say Think’s Justin Small on “A Thousand Times A Day (Someone Is Flying)” the album is entirely instrumental. The stories instead are told through the climaxes of each song individually and collectively as a whole. Like getting lost in the scenery from the back seat of a moving car, so is Years a continuously unfolding landscape working in concert through twists and turns, peaks and valleys, passively set out to inspire each person in their own individual way.
Do Make Say Think – You, You’re A History In Rust
Broken Social Scene – Feel Good Lost
Charles Spearin – The Happiness Project