Welcome to another Irrational Confidence PSA, the series where we go on at length about things way more famous than ourselves.
One of the reasons I love music so much is because music has this innate ability to make me feel emotions in ways I never thought possible. It’s a subconscious movement towards a new state of being that doesn’t rely purely on reaction the way more visual media might. For me, music appeals to the base of all feelings, the primal area of my brain.
That’s what makes Robotobots so special. Crafted by IGN’s Brian Altano, Robotobots is an instrumental hip-hop album. While the beats have real hooks to them and will have you nodding your head for days, the real strength of the album is its storytelling. The first track, “Woke up to Dystopia” sounds like something you would hear emerging from one of the Fallout vaults. The minimalism of the track, a piano melody imposed over light strings, synths and driving kicks, serves as a canvas on which Altano paints a new, blank world.
The whole album works together, interspersing clips from old sci-fi movies to keep the framework and the theme of dystopia going. Robotobots excels at layering all of the tracks. The underlying beats are really well done, but they don’t overwhelm the melodic tracks or vice versa. Tracks like “Radiolaser”, “Slaves”, and “Am I Home Yet” exemplify the careful construction representative of Robotobots as a whole.
The climax is the final track, “Saviors”, which sounds exactly like you would expect a song about saving a robotic dystopia to sound. The pianos at the beginning of the track are straight out of a slow-motion battle sequence from a war movie and the build that the drums create is a slow march into the fray. It’s an exciting piece and the perfect slow burn to cap off the album.
Robotobots is perfect if you’re looking for something different. The story that Brian Altano tells with almost no dialogue puts many concept albums to shame. It is adept at tapping into those primal moods, making the listener feel, and engaging the listener to wake up to this dystopia.