The following artist represents the word “chill” in all aspects of the word. In some circles he’s known as Ernest Green, but to most he’s known as Washed Out (The guy who did IFC’s Portlandia Theme. If you haven’t seen it’s, it’s available on Netflix). Green released a new album last month fittingly titled Mister Mellow which is presented as a visual album and seems to take “Chilling Out” to the max. Visual albums seem to be on the rise lately (JAY-Z’s 4:44, Beyonce’s Lemonade, Frank Ocean’s Blond, etc…), but you would be mistaken to take Mister Mellow as something made to follow the current trend. The music and visuals aren’t meant to make you necessarily inquire more than what’s presented. It’s something that you can watch and listen to in the background and still be able to focus on other tasks. The blend of visuals and music become your own personal soundtrack, much like Telepopmusik’s Genetic World. This album is quite the departure from Green’s earlier work which had deep dynamics. Instead what we get with Mister Mellow is a burst of warm colors and reminiscence of those good old teenage years where none of us had a care in the world besides what we were doing for the summer.
The imagery shown on the cover includes Big Bird, a panic button, a bunch of bumper stickers that commentate on work/life balance, and a xanax bar. I don’t think this imagery is random. Rather, a clever commentary on how we as people traverse through life with a focus on childhood, to becoming a young adult and trying to find your place in the world, which I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. It’s worthwhile to note that the album’s run time is about 30 minutes which I feel that with the imagery, perfectly emboding the notion that life is short.
While some may find this album off-putting because of it’s chill demeanor, don’t write it off. It’s a great quick listen that you could enjoy on your morning commute or your lunch break. While I do feel this album might be forgotten by many, I think it will become a great find later in your library of music when you need a little reminder to take it easy, enjoy life, and chill out.