Climate change is this album’s theme, and the cello piece “Lovelock” is a suitably sombre opener. Yet the record is more than a threnody. The pizzicato in the following “Lambent Flame” carries a jaunty track through an increasing pace conveying real urgency, prior to the shift into the sepulchral beauty of keyboard-based “Citrus”, and then the Glass-like insistent rhythms of “Forever Chemicals” with its suggestions of tension between instruments, characteristic of some of the finest classical chamber work, before the vocal reconciliation effected by lyrics that note “so much to lose … the sky is endless.”
At times, the sonic variety militates against a coherent sense of unity, as some awkward synthetic vocals tend to deflect the importance of human responsibility through an artificial expression of “all we are left with are condolences” which is more bathos than tragedy, and the stark funereal rhythm of “Suspension Reservoir” promises more than is delivered.
At its best, though, as in the frightening “Earth Systems”, with its echoes of Blade Runner neo-noir atmospherics, the record meets the challenge of its deadly serious theme, and Clark’s composition and arrangement abilities are clear. Overall, this is an ambitious project that, despite occasional unevenness, is a commendably successful venture and is certainly never less than thought-provoking.