When it works, this album is smooth and lounge-ready. It’s poolside, and frankly, probably should have come out closer to the beginning of the summer to optimize on that. Fairly heavy latin influence on a bunch of tracks, which probably adds to it’s exotica feel.
When it doesn’t work, the album gets a little tired, more than occasionally repetitive, and victim to incredibly average sound qualities. More than one track has a straight from the can feel rather than tasting homemade or nutritious.
Have you ever fallen asleep in front of the tv with the menu screen for a video game (probably 16-bit racing of some sort) looping? You wake up a few minutes or hours later, and there’s this catchy, but generally dissatisfying sequence of midi music running laps through your brain.
Sometimes that’s what Places and Spaces feels like, particularly “Dew Drops in the Garden”, which interchanges moments of brilliance with a beat that is, for lack of a better word, trite, considering the eclectic natures of both hip hop and electronic music – the two genres Green Tea straddles.
Worse is the second track, “Maximum Joy”, which not only isn’t all that joyful, but which sounds like the bland house music pumped into boujee clothing stores, like modern day, 130 BPM.
The arrangements are skillful at times, but the texture, or painful lack thereof, makes all the sounds distracting, rather than melodic.
If you’re heading to a chill session on Ibiza, then this might be your thing. If you don’t like Madlib or Flying Lotus because their beats sound funny, or dusty, or space-y, then you’ll love this Green Tea joint. It is totally inside the box.
And, although the object is to review the music, I have to make an aside about the name Green Tea. In my humble opinion, beverages should be off-limits for musician names. Coffee. Soda. Water. Seltzer. Not acceptable. Earl Grey, might be an exception, but if I see someone with that name, I’m gonna call you out on it. The only exception is Ice-T, and he is so bad ass that he could use whatever name he wanted and I wouldn’t say shit. And further more, the ‘Ice’ implies he’s cool, while Green Tea could be hot or cold, which makes things confusing.
Unfortunately, this Green Tea album is neither hot nor cold either. It’s completely average.