I remember when I first got Maserati's debut album, The Language of Cities, in 2002. At the time, I was listening to as much "post-rock" as any human can endure. Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor were definitely in my Top 5 favorite artists and I was totally impressed by the complexities and uniqueness of Cities. I could easily listen to the entire discography in a day of any one of these kinds of bands and be totally happy. After a while though something happened, I don't know what it was exactly, but post-rock obsession kind of faded away and began to be music I listened to on airplanes while I slept (see Brian Eno's Music for Airports). All my friends seemed to have moved on too, and so did most of the bands we listened to as well. And now, five years later, Maserati have released their third album, Inventions for the New Season. Seems they are a little late to the party.
I admit I was intrigued, as I didn't think they were even still around. So I was a bit anxious to hear this new record, see how they had matured and changed with the times. See if maybe they were capable of rekindling my love of this dying genre and bringing it to a new level. I fell asleep first listen. Not to say this wasn't a fairly well composed record, but it never really goes anywhere. The loud-soft dynamic so ingrained in the post-rock genre has been softened and instead transformed into a sort of de rigguer. It doesn't hit you over the head, but it feels like it's just "there." In fact that's how I describe this whole album, its compositions are easily interchanged and non-descript. The entire record can float over your ears and you'll never notice it. The only possible exception being "The World Outside," which actually peeked my ears a little bit when it began, however I had lost interest about a minute into the song.
In the end, Inventions, does little to reinvent a genre, but rather; puts it to bed. Which does, however, make it great airplane music.