8.75 out of 10
Such a vast/huge/un-imaginablely large "area/plain of known life" that holds the key to everything. We all know how amazing the universe is, from this I wonder if Hunter Skowron (Universe) drew inspiration for the title of his latest (upcoming--February I believe) release 'The Center Of Information'..
I'll be honest, the first time I listened 'The Center Of Information' I was a bit "shocked (maybe perplexed--not necessarily let-down)" at the differences between his style now to when I first stumbled across his work. In the beginning of Hunter's career as Universe it seemed he was really taking his moniker to the next galaxy, his music a warm and enchanting ray of Space Pop that is somewhat untouched and completly unique. Seriously, not enough people are doing what this guy does with his sound (maybe La Big Vic--whom had a hand in the making of this release actually). On 'The Center Of Information' it seems Hunter has landed his ship back down to Earth (or something that resembles it perhaps?), the atmosphere is a bit more "natural-organic meets Post Space travel", theres also a bizarre leaning towards Jam Band-esque grooves as well. It's "different", but it's not. I came back to this album (I had to re-absorb), I knew I missed something the first time around (I did). The song structures sound simple/catchy enough, but there are so many complex layers and interesting productions on this release that are buried underneath a bath of gorgeous-inviting Dream Pop and those are what carries this release/makes me want to come back (over and over). This album is a "grower", but I promise the ending blossom is quite possibly one of the most interesting "Earthly discoveries" of all time. When you hear these macrocosmic atmospheres glide, melt, collide into one beautiful/spiritual masterpiece you will know, "OK, this IS Universe..this is exactly what I want this moniker to be/stand for." A clearer understanding of why, through the mind of Universe.
Just like the universe this album must be exlpored. "One of 2013's Best."
Standout Tracks: The Highway, The Center Of Information (Hunter, I've enjoyed the evolution of this track;), Maricopa Lakes, Travel, Fireplace Clarity, Road To Taft (on repeat repeat repeat repeat), Painted Wall (PERFECT ender.)