Review: Désigné by Nova Spire

Désigné is an album by an Ottawa-based producer / artist, Nova Spire. This particular album is Synthwave, though according to the artist’s BandCamp page he produces other styles for various forms of media.


I found this via Reddit, on the OttawaMusic subreddit. I’m trying to commit to reviewing one album or EP each week, and I want to focus on Canadian independent music – and not necessarily limited to Creative Commons.
It just so happens that this EP is released under a Creative Commons license: BY-NC-SA. How serendipitous.

As I mentioned, this EP is a Synthwave EP; that’s one of the reasons I clicked through to the album. Synthwave isn’t my first choice for music, but sometimes it’s just the right fit for me. The score for Thor: Ragnarok uses a lot of synth tracks (I watched it recently, which is why it’s fresh on my mind). But this EP didn’t exactly do it for me.

I hate to post a negative review (I bet if you did an audit of my reviews, they’re probably all positive), but this seemed more like background music and not especially strong. The music didn’t really “say” anything for me. At the same time, I’m not sure it was supposed to. From Nova Spire’s page:

I score and compose music for film and am always excited to take on new projects.

So I think the fact that it seemed bland to me might be on purpose. Unfortunately that’s not enough to balance out my overall feeling about the EP. The best I can say about it is: if you need some synth music for a project, but it doesn’t need to be the focal piece, then this will do just fine. Otherwise if you’re looking for an expressive musical work, I recommend looking elsewhere.

My rating for this EP is 2 out of 5 stars; I liked it well enough for what it is, but it’s not something I hate nor would I return to it in the future.

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