I am a sucker for that gentle, melodic IDM popularized by acts like Mum and several Morr Music artists, IDM that sounds like it’s coming out of an old 16-bit videogame. There’s just something about that sweet, beautiful sound that I love so much. Whatever the reason, I can never resist it if it’s bubbly, emotive, and orchestrated by analog synths and glitchy beats.
Fortunately for me, I Am Robot and Proud makes exactly that kind of music. On Grace Days, the third release from I Am Robot and Proud (alias of Toronto’s Shaw-Han Liem), he creates pretty electronica music that’s playful, melodic and bursting with positive energy.
The album’s first track, which the album is named after, begins immediately with some quiet acoustic guitar and gentle musicbox chimes. Analog bass and a punchy beat come in shortly after, and the song bounces along for a while before slowing down to a more mellow pace, where it remains until the song’s end. “The Mood You’re In” is next with a harder-edged beat and a much more playful mood.
What’s so nice about this release is just how warm and happy it is. “Friction On Teeth” starts out slowly with bips and bloops and a soft beat, but towards the end it speeds up into an incredibly joyous song that will get your head bobbing every time you hear it. “Quick Life” is another smiling track full of chimes, chirps, and bopping beats. It’s songs like these that manage to make me feel a bit better about everything, and I’d be surprised to find someone who wasn’t warmed up by them.
The album does get a little melancholy at some points, though. “Mexico City,” with its robotic drums and cool underlying synths, sounds a bit more downbeat than the rest of the tracks, while the mellow “Her Vision” is the album’s most heartbreakingly gentle song, and it’s prettiest as well.
Upbeat or downbeat, though, the album works well. There’s not a track on here that doesn’t shine in one way or another. If there’s something negative to be said about it, it’s that all of the songs tend to follow the same basic formula, and none of them vary much instrument-wise. But considering it’s such nice music, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And while it may not be anything that hasn’t been done before, the pretty little IDM joyfulness of I Am Robot and Proud is great music that never fails to put me in a good mood.
Written by Richie DeMaria.