April 08, 2004

.you. 'i am .you.'

.You. is the moniker for Christopher R. Coello, who makes music all by himself. I Am You is a collection of sixteen songs that range from ambient to techno to drum & bass and back again. Instead of sticking to one particular genre, Coello mixes everything up into one big sonic blend, creating a soundscape that's brooding, dark and cold in only the way that electronic music can be. It's all about showing off skills for you, and while I can safely say I'm not a huge fan of this particular musical genre, it's obvious that there's more to what Coello's doing than pressing a key on a synthesizer and hitting record.

The only problem with this, though, is that mixing it all together like that makes the whole record seem so blurry, so indistinguishable. It doesn't help that I Am You is over an hour long, either, making it even more tedious of a listen. As good as it sounds in bits and pieces, sitting down to listen to I Am You is not only difficult, it's boring, and that does Coello's obvious talent a great disservice. Many of the better moments of I Am You, such as "Fixed Posture" and "Interlude" are only a minute or two long, but they're lost in between his longer, more trippier songs. It's not always the case, but these little moments could have (and probably should have) been further developed. When the beats and the ambient bliss are combined--such as on "I Dream Airplane" and 'Untravel"--it's excellent.

A debut record is as much a learning experience as it is an artistic statement. Coello should focus on refining his music and editing his work down to a more cohesive, less unwieldy running time. I Am You isn't perfect, but it is promising, and with a little bit of editing and clarity, .You. could easily create a masterpiece.

--Joseph Kyle

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