William Control: The Neuromancer

william controlWilliam Control
The Neuromancer
(Control Records)

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The Neuromancer, the latest album from William Control (aka Wil Francis), is surprisingly catchy with infectious rhythms and ’80s-inspired synths, all while retaining a modern, evocative, provocative, and rich sound.

Control’s vocals are confrontational as ever, further amplified by his subject matter. He possesses a voice characterized by depth in every sense.

Like its predecessors, The Neuromancer commences with a spoken-word opener (if you don’t get it, you weren’t meant to) that concisely sets the mood, then smoothly transitions into Control’s characteristic deviance with the driving beats of “Adore (Fall in Love Forever),” before flowing seamlessly into “Revelator.” “Passengers” slows it all down without losing momentum, and spotlights the uniqueness of Control’s lyrics and voice.

There are clever, self-referential moments (like mentions of “the razor’s edge”) that further highlight the fact that out of all his previous albums, The Neuromancer sounds the most confident.

The Neuromancer does have its weak points though, as he comes across heavy handed at times, but these moments are few and far between, proving just how much Control has evolved artistically.

Bold lines like “the road to hell is paved with one intention” are worthy of the envy of aspiring writers. Control showcases an extensive knowledge of literature from centuries past through his ability to craft beautifully poetic lines with the perfect rhythm and meter to complement dark electro dance beats.

As an artist, he knows exactly what sort of journey he wants to take his listeners on, and how to perfectly execute it. Well-crafted swells and fades allow each song to tell its own story in addition to the one told throughout the album.

For newcomers, William Control may be an acquired taste, but The Neuromancer proves he’s an artist worth acquiring a taste for, and at the very least provides an intelligent and fitting soundtrack to all your depraved dance party needs.

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About Samantha Blackwood

Hi, I'm a Canadian human with an undying love for live music and the works of dead writers. I write music reviews, book reviews, random literature related musings, short fiction, and more.
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