Redefinition is Tamed Animal’s broken hearted debut. It’s a twelve song album where his electronic driven music is backed by modal acoustic guitar chords, strip melodies and wet pianos. While his voice sounds fragile and his melodies mournful, the voids are filled with atmospheres and claustrophobic computer clicks muttering with the heartbreak amid waves of electronic keyboards. Barnett plays all the instruments, sings, creates all the beats and sounds engineered. He says “Many elements come into the music, I have many influences. I think that the most accurate description for my style of music is "Folktronica" or "Laptop Folk.”
Whisperinandhollerin - Rating : 8/10
Glitchy, shuffling drums, decayed around the edges with by the fuzz of distortion, drive 'Pleroma,' the opening track on Tamed Animals' 'Redefinition.' The lyrics are few, and delivered in long, mournful tones that suggest a hint of Thom Yorke.
It's easy to appreciate what Dan Barnett - the man behind Tamed Animals - is driving at when he describes his sound as 'laptop folk' on tracks like 'Solace,' on which a fragile picked acoustic guitar is underpinned with flickering glitchtronica percussion and the occasional burst of sweeping ambient synth. These seemingly incongruous elements work surprisingly well, the introspective nature of more conventional folk contrasting with broad vistas, Barnett setting his eyes on the vast horizon and realising there's a huge world out there, and he exists as a mere speck in the grand cosmic scheme. It's simultaneously scary and elating.
Contrasts and juxtapositions provide the all-important dynamic tension that holds 'Redefinition' together: there's a smoothness to the overall production, much of which is derived from the digital synths that swirl through many of the tracks, but then there are moments of jolting percussion that run contra to the time signature to disorientating effect, as on 'Seahloh.' 'From the West' begins quietly, brittle and fragile, before exploding into a truly immense post-rock crescendo. Elsewhere, 'Volenska' can perhaps be best described as shoegaze trip-hop: slow, deliberate and darkly atmospheric, with Barnett's soaring vocals conveying a sense of anguish while the lyrics remain indecipherable. While at times this unintelligibility is slightly frustrating, generally speaking, it matters not: the vocals act as another instrument, providing another layer to the many layers that drift like mist, ephemeral, sometimes barely there, to create a whole that is often both majestic and beautiful.
Denver Westword / Tom Murphy
"Pleroma" sounds like a collage take on IDM, post-rock and dream pop, like if Geogaddi-era Boards of Canada blended together bits of sound ideas from Sigur Rós and Radiohead. On Redefinition, Dan Barnett has crafted a melancholy yet expansive set of music that suggests night travel by air over an urban landscape lit only by the moon. Organic and electronic sounds weave together seamlessly in stark harmony for an effect that would fit perfectly in a movie about the Aztecs first stumbling upon the sprawling ruins of Teotihuacán and being awestruck at its mysterious grandeur. "Volenska" conjures imagery from Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker, while "Shadows Recede" casts off the album's mood of alienation but loses none of its sense of wonder.