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I Am Robot And Proud - Grace Days

  by Chris Jones

published: 27 / 10 / 2003

I Am Robot And Proud - Grace Days
Label: Catmobile
Format: CD


Ironically "warm sounding electronic pop" on second album from I am Robot and Proud, the moniker of 22 year old Toronto-vased electro wizard Shaw-Haw Lien

It seems that many artists doing electronic music either get very caught up in the process and make cold, almost mathematical sounding music or they go the opposite extreme and make overly cutesy, lo-fi, casio keyboard, joke-y music.  I find both of them equally difficult to listen to and fortunately you'll find neither of these approaches dominating the songs on 'Grace Days'. The proud robot behind 'Grace Days' is actually 22 year old, Toronto resident Shaw-Haw Lien.  This is his second full length release and it's full of warm sounding electronic pop tones that bounce along with a gentle ease and beauty. It's almost impossible to not smile while listening to this CD and it's hard to concentrate on anything too.  While I'm sure a plethora of little electronic boxes were used to make this album, the music does not feel defined by the way in which it was made.  The songs all have wonderful melodies that would have many a pop band feeling envious. These melodies ride along with all sorts of electronic elements, yet everything is arranged in a very natural sounding, pop song type structure.  In fact, it would be very easy to add vocals to any of these tracks. Shaw-Haw's music doesn't really fit with my idea (which could be incorrect) of what the Toronto electronic music scene is all about and it reminds me much more of what I've heard in Japan or from the Morr Music camp.  It's electronic music that hasn't forsaken pop in the name of technology.  In fact, unlike say drum 'n'bass, this music sounds better to me when I'm walking down the street with my headphones on than it does in my car. It moves at a pace which is very compatible with walking and it has an ease that reminds of spring or fall. With "Grace Days'", I Am Robot and Proud has jumped into my A-list of electro-pop artists with the likes of Clue To Kalo, Styrofoam, MAS, Corkyees, Komeit, B. Fleischmann, and a few others.  Shaw-Haw may use robot like components to make his music, but the feel is nothing if not warm and natural.  To steal a Guided By Voices line, "Gold star for robot boy".

Track Listing:-
1 Grace Days
2 The Mood You're In
3 Winter At Night
4 Friction On Teeth
5 Mexico City
6 A List Of Things That Quicken The Heart
7 Quick Life
8 Her Version
9 Learn From Mistakes

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The Catch (2002)
"Effervescent pop sparkle" on the debut album of Canadian electronics wizard, I am Robot and Proud

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