As a genre of pure nostalgic ejaculation, it is with great confidence in which one may assert that chillwave has exploded as of late. An exaggerated tip of the cap is directed towards Ernest Greene, a young man from Georgia who performs music under the name Washed Out. Greene has been the scene’s commanding force since 2009, with breathtaking High Times and Life of Leisure extended plays. Not too far behind him stands many promising artists, riding the — ugh — “wave” of seductive synths and airy vocals. One of those musicians is South Florida’s own Mike Diaz, better known as MillionYoung. With a couple of tasteful EPs and singles under Mike’s belt, it was only a matter of time before a splash was made in the big pond he’s placed himself in. That’s where Replicants shows up; right on time, though unfortunately a tad too exhausted.
Compared to his earlier work, Replicants is undoubtedly MillionYoung’s more adventurous material. The tracks have much more room to breathe and the instrumentation is bountiful. Well-structured songs like “Calrissian” and “Perfect Eyes” bestow the gravity to never overstay their welcome. The steady escalation from “On On” is also a treat, as it manages to find the most appropriate time for an electric guitar to bust onto the scene.
There’s just not enough quality on Replicants to merit multiple listens. While the album’s mood rises and falls, the same cannot be said about changes in the tracks themselves. The same layers meet up with one another and redundancy shows its’ forgettable face far too often. Usually in these instances, powerful vocals — whether through effects or lyrically — would be around to save the day. Unfortunately the effects imposed on Diaz’s voice are perhaps too dreamy to leave much of an impact.
While it’s nice to see MillionYoung take a big step forward with his career in completing his first full length record, Mike Diaz would have been better off teasing us once again with a Replicants EP. Chillwave should relax. It should not exhaust.