UNKLE always begins with eccentric electronica but meets pop halfway through. This release, The Road: Part 1, starts more piano than DJ and for the better in “Iter!: Have You Looked At Yourself” and “Farewell”, in which the tempo meditates in a entrancing way. That changes at “Looking For Rain”, which picks up the electro-orchestra theme more substantially. “Cowboys or Indians” is more familiar, but also trippy and guitar-oriented dark.
At “Nowhere to Run/Bandits”, the album really finds itself in a soul searching and interestingly brooding way. Then on “Iter 3: Keep on Runnin’” and “Stole Enough” things get weirder, with the former a radio clip, and the latter a light piano-soul-sob song.
“Arms’ Length”, however, only continues where “Nowhere to Run/Bandits” left off, the plodding snare and airy organ making a midnight sound of freedom. “Sonata” is what the name suggests, a play on orchestral music and singing, and does sound reasonably like UNKLE. “The Road”, though is a psychedelic version of UNKLE’s trademark electro-pop, and comes out good, but not great,
Then and lastly, “Sunrise (Always Comes Around)” is really still soul-chill, but more modern pop sounding, but “Sick Lullaby” is kind of a perfect ending to a dark yet spirited philosophically vagabond release. The Road: Part 1 is just what one would want from UNKLE as a indie-pop fan – or just your average soul searcher.