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Close Encounters with C.R. and the Degenerates

Oh, that lo-fi synth sound of C.R. and the Degenerates’ new album, Close Encounters. It is my weakness. But despite a mellow, atmospheric first impression, these tracks prove to be quietly intense, languid yet primed with sustained tension. This album is a struggle. It’s a contradiction. It does exactly what it sets out to do and nothing more, and this restraint is what makes it so successful.

Close Encounters is sparse on lyrics, but what C.R. Gennone does with those lyrics—the emotion he injects into each line through his phrasing and melancholy delivery, coming across almost like keening in parts—reveals a musician who knows the precise effect he wants to convey and understands exactly how to achieve it.