Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were the famous split personalities of Dr. Jekyll. He created Mr. Hyde so he could give in to the urges that he felt weren’t suitable for Dr. Jekyll to take part in. Despite being completely different, they were the same person, and the distinction between them blurred. Post Animal’s second album Forward Motion Godyssey follows a similar arc to Jekyll and Hyde. The mixture of psychedelic, dreamlike songs and heavier, more grounded sounds give the album a split personality that keeps the album seesawing between overall moods before blending together by the end.
The split between the tracks on Forward Motion Godyssey can be thought of in two different ways. The first dichotomy is a split between a sensation of the psychedelic and another of concrete reality. Songs like “Your Life Away,” “Fitness,” or “Safe or Not” feel like a dreamy hallucination filled with distant beats and riffs. The singing is slow and sounds like it’s coming through a long pipe from far away. Other tracks, such as “Post Animal” or “In a Paradise” feel more grounded and immediate. The vocals are more present, the beats are quicker, and the riffs feel weightier and more familiar. Tracks can also be understood as the lyrical focus turns from an “I” to a “you.” The “I” songs and “you” songs drive the Jekyll and Hyde sensation as they alternate almost from track to track and emphasize the sonic differences.
Ultimately, the distinction between the types of songs blends together until it almost disappears. As different styles are assumed by the tracks that are deeper in the album, any preconceived notion of how a track should sound goes away. After the brief, sci-fi like interlude of “The Whole,” Forward Motion Godyssey takes on a new energy that although cohesive is not always what you expected. All the songs are Post Animal and the album is comfortable toggling between anything that’s been shown without worrying about it sounding out of place.
There’s a huge variety of different styles on this album. No matter your preferences, there is probably a song that you can like. Whether it is the straight psychedelic rock of previously mentioned tracks, the R&B influence in “How Do You Feel” or “Private Shield,” or the heavier, hard rock sound of tracks like “In a Paradise,” there is a track that suits any genre preferences. Oftentimes, these influences weave their way in and out to create a wide tapestry of sound throughout the album.
Though Forward Motion Godyssey has a lot going for it, it struggles with endings. Many of the tracks start to drag on as they close. With only a minute or so left, tracks either start to settle into seemingly endless jams and riffs or leap from idea to idea changing and losing cohesion. Even, the album ends a little of kilter in “Sifting.” Through the mix of slowed vocals, discordant pianos, and sci-fi effects, a listener is left with a track unwilling to close out the album.