Review: The Atomica Project – Grayscale

Review: The Atomica Project – Grayscale

Flagrant Records
By: Jonathan Jones

The Atomica Project returns after nearly a three year hiatus, with their new album entitled Grayscale. With their previous album Metropolitan, ranging between many different genres of music, Grayscale doesn’t miss a step in their past endeavors. Lauren Cheatham, and her presence of electronic and live sounds brought from Wade Alin, Dean Dunakin and Corey McCaferty, makes a beautiful concoction for her soothing voice layer. Having all of these elements intact creates a mixture of space travel, as well as, a deep water trek for the listener, in this down-tempo/electronic album.

It is apparent that the time span normally taken by a college graduate, served lucrative for the bands direction. It seems as if the lyrics are very consciously driven to a lost love: which seems to be the theme of an album. The message received by this listener was Ms. Cheatham’s trials and tribulations in relationships, in unison with natural condiments of the environment.

The album starts off with an epic feel on “When I was just a young girl.” “Forecast,” which is this listener’s favorite song shows their range with a trip hop, pop turntablism mixture. Her words in this track alone provide many lyrical gems i.e. “Each day is another chance, to fade into the crowd, to disappear beneath the clouds.” It seems as if they switch genres every three songs. The first three tracks have a trip hop feel, the next two tracks are electronic ballads. The three following pieces, “I Woke Up in This World, Losing Sleep and All the Loneliness in the World,” are very radio friendly. The addition of affects to Cheatham’s voice is very appealing and at times, her vocals are reminiscent of other singers, however she maintains her own unique sound despite the similarities.

All in all, the music became a pleasant surprise as well as a breath of fresh air. They are a very talented group. It seems that if Cheatham doubled her voice with harmonious vocals it would even put them at a higher plateau of beauty, sophistication and hopefully record sales.

The Atomica Project Biography

The Atomica Project is a union of downtempo beats and stunning female vocals, amplified by an organic warmth generally absent from electronic music.

Devised in 2004 by programmer/songwriter Wade Alin and vocalist Lauren Cheatham, The Atomica Project made waves in the chillout/electronic music community with their 2005 debut release Metropolitan. Based heavily on Alin’s personal experiences in New York, Metropolitan illustrates a compelling story of loss, affliction, collapse and recovery. Fueled by heavy podcast rotation, enthusiastic reviews, and an extensive online following, Metropolitan was considered by many as one of the best independent releases of 2005.

The Atomica Project spent the following year focused on live performances, headlining shows in New York and Chicago, as well as an appearance at the Midwest Music Summit and opening for The Birthday Massacre.

Grayscale, the highly anticipated sophomore release from The Atomica Project, embodies in itself the struggle of its execution. Taking nearly 3 years to complete, Grayscale is loosely based on the dramatic climate of Cheatham and Alin’s adopted home of Chicago. Many of the tracks draw parallels between the cinematic storms of the Midwest and the turmoil of inter-personal relationships.

Alin’s detailed production on Grayscale constructs a more heavily orchestrated, lavish sound that further incorporates organic instrumentation and exemplifies the emotional impact of Lauren Cheatham’s delivery. The comparisons that both flattered and diminished the uniqueness of their debut are no longer relevant, as Grayscale defines a sound exclusive to The Atomica Project.

For more information about the Atomica Project, please visit their official website at:

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