Album Review: Bonobo’s “Migration” Is A Mood Changer

Music is weird, and I love it. Its inexplainable in how it works and what it will induce in listeners. There are certain genres, artists, and albums that aim for the strange spontaneity of music’s effects. In Migration Bonobo clutches to listeners’ moods and tussles with them like an ambient traveler.

Migration all about movement. From the first, self-titled track you feel like you have stepped onto the  moving walk-ways at a crystal, white airport. With your carry-on at hand, you hear the whistling, twinkles, taps, and overall dreamy sounds of Bonobo’s pure mix. He has captured the excitement of feeling like you are going somewhere, which is, in essence, migration. This is not just an action tethered to physicality but also the spirituality. When you are moving somewhere, especially a life-changing place, your soul goes through many emotions, and Bonobo wishes to forward the spiritual journey a migrant takes through the art of sound. In turn, listeners feel in 12 tracks what its like to change homes or travel to the unknown with only hope.

There is a wrestling between bigness and smallness that absorbs Migration and thus listeners. You sincerely feel like you are headed somewhere, to which Bonobo uses blended synths of nature and seeming city sounds. Its as if you can hear birds and rivers running while hearing cars and people, as well. You feel stuck in between two places, playing up the vibe of actual migration. Bonobo loves layering and looping rhythms to hypnotize listeners, which they will not mind because the rhythms are actually good. Moreover, this method represents well the bombardment, bliss, and lostness that one could feel, all at once, as they look through “Figures” and “Grains” to find their way. Though every track has a bouncing, subtle up tempo, you still hear slight pinches of a down-beat. After all, leaving what you know is not easy, although it can be exciting. By adding only a few vocal guests, Bonobo elevates the migration theme by making them the few people that cross your road in your travels.

Bonobo interestingly adds and spreads guests’ vocals in the record, and uses his guests as the casual conversation you have while in movement. There are always the sporadic travelers you meet to coyly and quickly reveal your hidden feelings like,  Innov Gnawa “Bambro Koyo Ganda” or Nicole Miglis “Surface”.  Each carries simple, singular lyrics that are repeated to further their much deeper meanings. Vocal guests sing softly the particular sentiments that a migrant would feel such as,  Rhye’s “Break Apart” which is all about the pain you carry within you like an internal baggage claim, while Nick Murphy’s  “Reason” is the bittersweet nature of being forced to move from what you know for what seems to be no reason. Such vast feelings and beats can come off overpowering, if not for Bonobo’s masterful arrangements. He makes chaos seem natural and alluring, which is exactly what migration can be: exhilarating adrenaline.

Migration is an album to sit down and listen to because it really feels like you are stepping aside from your life for an hour. You can hear the journey of migration through the movement of Bonobo’s music, and I love it. I enjoy albums that take me away for a bit, and Bonobo’s Migration does exactly that. For More Information On Bonobo And To Buy Migration On January 13 Click Here.