Yves Tumor is back with his fifth studio album, “Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)”. This extensively titled album actually has a somewhat short playtime, though not anything particularly shorter than their previous albums.
“Hot Between Worlds” keeps up Tumor’s heavy-hitting basslines and echo-y, melancholic vocals from their past works on songs like “Meteora Blues”. Unfortunately, so many tracks on here have such similar melodies that songs become difficult to distinguish from each other with a few exceptions.
First off, I don’t wish to imply that the songs that sound similar are bad by any means. For most of these tracks, if they come on a playlist on shuffle, I’ll gladly listen to them. There’s a lot of good introspection by Tumor on how his religious views and upbringing intersect with his queer identity. Some of the singles, like “Parody” and “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood”, especially embody this type of discussion as well as Tumor’s percussion-heavy signature sound. They’re quite good in their own right, though I’m unlikely to seek them out independent of the greater album.
As for those exceptions mentioned earlier, “Operator” and “God Is a Circle” are definitely the highlights of “Hot Between Worlds”. While the former has the most inventive lyrics of the album, the latter has such a fresh, driving beat exemplifying Tumor’s exhaustion with feeling betrayed over and over again. The way “God Is a Circle” ends with such a climactic buildup is just perfect too.
“Operator” features Tumor’s most direct call to God yet, asking why God feels so distant. Their cries of “Hello” again and again only exacerbate that uncertainty over their relationship with God. Tumor’s trying to grapple with why there’s so much strain and hesitation which is amplified by the pervasive bass.
To be quite honest, no song on “Hot Between Worlds” is actively bad. Like I said earlier, there’s just not much differentiating many of these tracks from each other. Other than that, though, there isn’t much in the way of strong messages in Tumor’s lyrics on many tracks. They cover a lot of the same ground repetitively throughout the album, even in just 37 minutes.
Part of that issue may come from the minimal vocals on each song, leaving little room for expansive storytelling or metaphors. Songs don’t feel underdeveloped or rushed, they just feel like they need more space to work, which is something that seems to plague Tumor’s albums like “Heaven To A Tortured Mind”.