Review: Celldweller “Wish Upon A Blackstar”

“Whoa, hold yer horses there, Hoss,” you might be thinking. “This here’s a funnybook site. Why’re you writing about a musical recording?”

Well, you wouldn’t be wrong in your reasoning, but music and comics are not all that different in the way they drag our senses, either gently or kicking and screaming through a fabricated world formed out of sheer imagination. Both can guide and influence our emotions, sensibilities, and even change the way we think. In the end, we are just talking about art here. Besides, Celldweller’s Wish Upon A Blackstar is so freaking rad that I’d be surprised if Ladies Home Journal doesn’t toss it a write-up.

Wish Upon A Blackstar is the second full-length album multi-instrumentalist/electronic music guru Klayton has released under the project title Celldweller, but it’s far from his sophomore effort. I’ve been enjoying his soundscapes and aural assaults for many years and through multiple project names, such as Brainchild, Circle of Dust, and Argyle Park. He’s collaborated with the likes of Mark Salomon of Stavesacre, Tommy Victor of Prong, Klank, and Criss Angel of TV show Mindfreak and general weird-yer-@$$-out fame. In a word, Klayton has been around.

Originally released as four two-track volumes (with some extra stuff thrown in), the final, full realization of Blackstar proves greater than the sum of its parts. Part dance-floor rager, part unfettered inner scream, with a whole lot of head-banging electric bass, thrum, and vibrato this album takes the listener from beginning to end without nary a desire to hit the skip button. If one wishes to utilize said skip button, I would only advise it with the Standard Edition of the album, where the tracks, like “Unskakeable”, “Louder Than Words”, & “The Lucky One” tend to have a little more elbow room and one can zero in on that perfect grinder for the moment.

The Deluxe Edition, however, is what officially blew my gourd out. Not only does it have an alternate and, in my humble opinion, superior track order, it is also remixed for continuous play. So, gone are those sonic rest stops between tracks during which one can comfortably take a wiz and grab some funyuns before hopping back in the fast lane. As a bonus, the Deluxe Edition also comes with an instrumental version of the album for those hot, lazy summer evenings when lyrics just won’t do.

As a rule, I generally don’t gush over something I’m reviewing, but I honestly found this album to be that good. If you are a fan of rock, metal, electronica, break-beat, dubstep, or just love doing what I say, Celldweller’s Wish Upon A Blackstar is money very well spent. If you have the urge to drop that money now, it’s best purchased directly at Fixt Store, but can be found in just about any other digital music outlet. In conclusion, Wish Upon A Blackstar is best served loud, so in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, “Ear damage be damned, cousin. Crank this %$#@er up!”

Follow me on Twitter:

Matt Rawson @ roman_watts