Back in 2008, a long forgotten year of people sitting in front of computers and listening to mu- oh wait, that was last year - Deerhunter's frontman Bradford Cox found that his new solo work had leaked online long before it had even been finished, and his understandable outrage nearly convinced him to stop work on the album altogether. Thankfully he didn't; the scant, incomplete tracks eventually became his sophomore solo effort under the alias Atlas Sound, only to be leaked once again (albeit in its finalized state this time around - the way it should be!).
The only thing more impressive than Logos' warm, seducing sound is how prolific Cox has been as of late. In the last two years, in addition to yielding an EP and a full length (two if you count Weird Era Cont.) with his full time band Deerhunter, he contributed to Karen O's soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are, did a collaboration with Broadcast, and put out two long players on his own, in addition to six extended plays. Even more impressive than that is the fact that he actually has the creativity to back it all up; from the noisy indie pop of the band he fronts to his own psychedelic solo work, he has shown not a single misstep yet.
Logos plays almost like a more accessible Animal Collective, presenting more or less the same experimental pop paradigm but with a permeating warmth and charm that keeps things (relatively) grounded. In fact, the Collective's own Noah Lennox (a.k.a. Panda Bear) appears on Walkabout, a great, spacey song cheerfully asking "What did you want to be when you grew up?" with a clever, choppy vocal pattern. The other guest appearance is Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, another prominent influence of Cox's, on the atmospheric Quick Canal, an eight minute song so laden with sublime hooks that it's difficult not to get sucked in, even if only by Sadier's voice.
A great deal more versatility is shown here than on the first Atlas Sound record, the very intimate Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel. Cox fleshes out a number of the compositions with folkish acoustic guitar (namely the very Barrett-esque An Orchid and the languorous Attic Lights) while he recalls some of the more lo-fi elements from his debut on My Halo and Washington School. Criminals is a great standout as well, questioning the worth of righteousness against a lively indie poppish backdrop, but the album's best song could well be Shelia, which carries a simple yet wonderfully expressed willingness to do anything in order to avoid dying alone. Cox finishes off the album with an upbeat title track featuring an understated guitar part straight from an old Western song gone awry and a warped synth driven chorus.
On Logos, Cox is uncannily able to indulge in his experimental and psychedelic whims without sacrificing the album's pop sensibility. Varying arrangements are scattered throughout, but every track is unified by an expertly established mood, and as a result everything flows with precision. Especially for being among nearly ten other releases in the last two years from the same guy, Logos is damned solid.