The Aviary

by: Galantis

Quite similar to their 2015 debut, Pharmacy, The Aviary takes Galantis' pop-centric spin on electronic dance music and slathers it all with a heavy tropical sauce. That island influence cements the album firmly in 2017 -- for better or worse -- resulting in a radio-friendly set of songs that, at times, is fairly indistinguishable from the myriad options produced by contemporaries like Zedd, Cash Cash, and Martin Garrix. From the standard builds to the calculated drops, Galantis know how to keep the body moving and The Aviary is pleasant enough to soundtrack a house party or a day at the pool, but once the fun is over, listeners are unlikely to remember much. The Aviary's guest vocalists do their part to at least carve out their own sonic spaces. Bonnie McKee appears on the playful "Hey Alligator" while Rozes lends her talents to "Girls on Boys." Other acts, like Poo Bear and Hook N Sling, are also featured, but a handful of standouts help elevate their tracks above the crowded dancefloor. David Guetta collaborator Sam Martin brings an Empire of the Sun vibe to the sunny "Call Me Home," while singer Hannah Wilson's distorted, R&B-influenced delivery on "Hunter" recalls Sia. If anything, the opening track, "True Feeling," captures the mood of the entire album. The Wrabel-assisted single is bright electronic pop at its best, featuring The Aviary's most satisfying festival-worthy build and release. Overall, while Galantis don't tread much new ground here, The Aviary is a bright summertime album that nevertheless inspires a big smile and a full heart. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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