In previous reviews of ASMR content, I noted ASMR’s inherently musical properties. If music is defined as the intentional structuring and organization of sound (or lack of sound) for artistic purposes, then ASMR fits quite nicely into this definition. ASMR is akin to minimalism and reductionism in terms of both form and content. Therefore it is not surprising that an ASMRtist would venture into more standard musical territory at some point.
With ‘Dreams Away’, WhispersRed combines some (mostly) standard original compositions with some standard ASMRtistry. There is an ASMR approach taken to the composition and production as bare-bones songs are recorded to sound soft and distant. And I certainly don’t mean that in a bad way. Ultimately, I think that these choices are both intentional and suitable to the compositions at hand. With more conventional albums, I would criticize the repetition and uninteresting structures. But this isn’t a conventional album. Repetition is commonplace in ASMR. Not just commonplace, but expected. Repetition is a vital ingredient to ASMR success.
When it comes to ‘Dreams Away’ and its compositions, I think that WhispersRed manages to tread that fine line between being criticized as music and being criticized as ASMR. Taken as music, it is problematic. Taken as ASMR, it isn’t the greatest. But as a combination of both, it is remarkable. The lines are so blurred that I still haven’t decided at this point of the review whether I want to categorize this work as ASMR or as music. However, I have definitely decided that this is a truly great work. WhispersRed is more than just an ASMR piece or a reductionist piece. It infuses both ideas convincingly.
Note: I have decided on categorizing this as ASMR because it has much more in common with ASMR than reductionism/minimalism. And while there are certainly more conventional musical properties, I feel like the ASMR properties are more prominent because: 1) there are conventional ASMR sections, and 2) the musical sections are ASMR influenced.
8/10 – Great