(Album Review) ‘Mistakes’, Next Ex’s Debut Album, is a Radiography of Lust & Love

It took more than a year for the Romanian band to release their 7-tracks musical statement, since their foundation in 2016 with the first single Hey Girl (Self-conscious Talk), until a gorgeous album – Mistakes, launched in November 2017. And it was all worth it.

Next Ex (Andrea, Robert and Sergiu), the Bucharest-based latest synth phenomenon, recently came up with a video for one of their addictive and melancholic reinterpretation of lust, Runaway. And this was the moment I got hooked enough to get their free-distributed album and dive in.

Weirdly combining a visual darkish, futuristic presence, with a trippy state and a bitter life experience, Next Ex’s ‘Mistakes’ is, nonetheless, an audio jewel that could – fairly enough – be part of both mainstream and underground local music scene. It’s almost like Portishead had a baby with The Knife, and the kid grew up going to school with Raised by Swans.

As the band clearly identifies itself as a promoter for personal experience, Mistakes is an emotional rollercoaster, starting with an uplifting ode to bipolarity in Blended Thoughts and expectedly reaching the climax in Runaway, a graphic, obvious display of lust. The album circles around in a massive lake of incertitude, the way human subconscious does. And this can easily be drawn out of three of Mistake’s tracks: Should, Would You and, of course, Wrong Time – my personal fave, that is.

You could’ve guessed from the start that the album is all together a brain-stabbing guilty confession, bursting in regret and self-lecturing (Mistakes, doh!). Most probably Andrea and Robert, band colleagues and composers have some unfinished businesses (I’m just saying, please don’t disband ‘coz of me!).

Anywaaay… The album reaches rock bottom right in the middle, with Superhero, a soft, dramatic song that, if you own a soul, will most likely make you cry like a baby. Nice try, Next Ex, but a sigh it’s all you got from me. Once Made of Glass comes in the playlist, the upbeat is back on track, simulating the idea that the worst is in the past, although cynical enough, that could be just an episode in a never ending soap opera. “Every experience that is about to happen”, the band recalls, “instantly becomes part of the past. It’s a matter of time before every next becomes an ex”.

Considering this, Mistakes seems now a plea for the idea that either all relationships and love itself are doomed to extinction, or, if you prefer a more optimistic perspective, we can learn from our past and try making things right in the future, avoiding to turn the next one into an ex.

Download the album Mistakes here.

 

Photo: Ciprian Ciulei, via @nextexofficial

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Romanian self-taught writer, based in Cyprus, interested in contemporary art, unconventional culture and gonzo journalism. Writing for almost a decade, he is agnostic, supports a censorship-free society and reads way less than he wants.

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