Faris McReynolds abandons the avant-garde pop sound used in One Finger Riot and in his paintings for a more natural blend of indie pop-rock with a twist of attitude. The painter and musician’s latest project, ExDetectives’ debut album, Take My Forever, is much like its artwork—a flight through the clouds. Take My Forever opens up with McReynolds’ silky voice in “Cleaner” until the air is filled with soothing guitars and a light drum beat. Gradually the guitars grow into a harder sound. Normally a dry delivery is a turn-off, however, McReynolds’ flat voice throughout isn’t a bother.

McReynolds appears as a slightly different person from “Halcyon” on. His voice is much more animated for the rest of the release. The biggest shock to come off of Take My Forever is “So Long.” McReynolds’ attitude comes flying out of the gate and you can hear the slight snarl in his voice. The dark tones of the guitars and bass pump up the sinister ambiance that flows over the otherwise bright disc. Although the track brings a dark cloud into the picture, the energy that it packs into the rather mellow album is remarkable. “Pocket Rainbow” keeps that dark cloud hanging over the release with its slow, eerie pacing, distorted guitars and bellowing drums. The final cut, “Closing Bell,” clears the overhang so the sun can peak out over Take My Forever. The airiness of the piece relinquishes the darkness and ends the album much like it started.

Overall, Take My Forever isn’t necessarily an album to listen to if you want to jump around. However, if hanging out with a cup of tea or sitting by a fire is more of your style, then listen to this album over and over again.

In A Word: Soothing

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