REVIEW: Yves Tumor – Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume

On March 17th, Yves Tumor released the anticipated follow-up to his 2021 EP The Asymptotic World. The full-length album, titled Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds), features singles released over the past year, as well as fresh new tracks that carry Yves’ signature sounds— a mesh of rock, pop, psychedelia, and darkly ambiguous lyrics hinting at Heaven, Hell, and everything in between.

I approached this project with a bit of apprehension; Yves’ 2020 album Heaven to a Tortured Mind reinvented my understanding of genre, combining ethereal vocals with experimental instrumentation to evoke the awe-inducing experience of watching the finale of a firework show. I wondered how— or if— this kind of collage of genres could be improved upon without losing its dazzling freshness. Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume absolutely did not disappoint. Despite dialing down the erratic theatrics of previous albums, Yves Tumor has re-emerged as an artist who is confident in his artistic strengths and knows how to show them off. With the help of Grammy award-winning producer Noah Goldstein (Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), Yves’ signature sound is smoother than ever.

Praise A Lord notably conforms to genre, or at least a consistent voice, more than any of their previous projects. Yves finds the delicate intersection of theatrical pop and distortion-heavy rock, altering catchy pop melodies with thick and fuzzy guitar, layered instrumentation, and airy vocals that preach existential philosophies and poetic metaphor. The opening track, “God is a Circle”was released as a single in November and remains my favorite on the album. It opens with a scream and heavy breathing that melts into the melody, establishing a tone of darkness and obsession as Yves drawls “Sometimes, it feels like, there’s places in my mind that I can’t go”. The rest of the tracks fall into a consistent formula; Tumor’s delicate vocals, evocative of Prince’s versatile emotionality, float over sonic atmospheres packed with erratic chord progressions and synths that feel alive. “Meteroa Blues” builds on its drums and guitar slowly, bringing the song to an energetic climax of intense noise. The hazy interlude in “Parody” feels like crossing a liminal space between worlds. “Echolalia” is the most danceable track on the album, with fast-paced drums ushering in a catchy vocal melody. The last track, “Ebony Eye”, reminds me the most of the dramatic crescendo and electronic sparkle of Heaven to a Tortured Mind which initially drew me to his musicDramatic instrumentation, dreamy synths, and continually layered vocals create a landscape of sparkling colors and excitement. It’s the perfect ending to the album, encapsulating Yves’ willingness to try anything— and everything— at the same time.

Although Praise a Lord isn’t my favorite album (Heaven to a Tortured Mind always takes the cake), Yves has proven his maturity as an experimental artist. The album carries his ambiguous voice and imaginative style, but contains it within a more palatable (and radio-playable) format, balancing pop and rock song structures with contemporary instrumentation. Each track feels alive, having a mind of its own, almost always ending in a completely different spot and with a different attitude than where it started. It’s truly an immersive listening experience that is worth the time. Even if his unique approach isn’t something you are drawn to, it sparks thought about what genre is— or what it can be in the future, and what the pioneers of contemporary genres will sound like. Yves Tumor has, in my opinion, cemented his spot as a trailblazer of the future.

Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume is available on popular streaming platforms. Yves Tumor is coming to the Majestic Theatre in Detroit on May 10th. Get your tickets while they’re still available for a unique live music experience.

PREVIEW: Yves Tumor – Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume

Yves Tumor has been an enigmatic figure in the music scene for years. Blending the boundaries between electronica, psychedelia, and rock, Yves Tumor has invented their own brand of contemporary pop that meshes crashing drums with passionate guitar solos to create an atmosphere of drama and emotional turmoil. Their upcoming album, Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds), is a long-anticipated follow-up to their 2021 EP The Asymptotical World. Four sonically diverse singles have been released since 2022, teasing the release of the album. My favorite is God is a Circle; one of their moodiest, more gothic tracks, this song combines creative sampling with dark and fuzzy guitar to evoke the sense of doom in a relationship that swallows you whole.

Although his uninhibited self-expression and colorful experimentation have led critics to draw comparisons to Prince and other rule-breaking trailblazers, Yves Tumor has a sonic personality that is completely unique and transcends genre. The ethereal soundscapes and emotional drama of Heaven to a Tortured Mind brought Yves into the public eye— the guitar solos on “Kerosene!” are to die for— and the release of erratically surreal music videos have further cemented Yves’ status as an artist— visual, musical, and lyrical— to watch closely.

Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) is released March 17th on popular music streaming platforms. If you haven’t heard Yves’ music, I’d suggest listening to Heaven to a Tortured Mind and his acclaimed singles before the album’s release. Regardless of whether or not electronic-psychedelic-soul-rock-pop is something you’re interested in, their music is a unique and memorable experience that is well worth giving a chance. Following the album’s release, Yves Tumor is going on tour and making a stop in Detroit at the Majestic Theatre on May 10th. Grab tickets while they’re cheap!

REVIEW: The Verve Pipe

The sold-out show last night at The Ark was sold out for all the right reasons. The Verve Pipe’s performance was one of the best concerts I’ve seen, hands down.

In an age where much of the top hits are auto-tuned and live concerts expose artists for their true skills, it was definitely a heartwarming treat to hear The Verve Pipe sound exactly like they do on their records—if not better, as the power and passion radiated off the stage in a way no CD could ever justly capture.

Brian Vander Ark’s voice was tantalizing, and I’m sure it was just as beautiful and magical back in the 90s when the band first formed. He didn’t seem to have aged one bit, bringing a charisma and energy to every note he sang, whether he belted it out powerfully and held it for ages or whispered it with a rawness that touched the soul.

With Lou Musa on guitar, Brad Philips (who is a University of Michigan SMTD grad—Go Blue!) on violin, Channing Lee on tambourine and backup vocals, Joel Ferguson on bass, Randy Sly on keyboard and accordion, and Sam Briggs on drums, The Verve Pipe captivated the entire room with its spunk and rock. Musa and Philips had some unbelievable solos that just blew everyone away, and Lee’s soft yet powerhouse vocals beautifully complemented Vander Ark’s, with her occasional moments to show everyone what she’s got. Mark Byerly made several guest appearances on trumpet as well, which was just a cherry on top for a stage filled with incredibly talented musicians.

The band seemed to be having a wonderful time, smiling and laughing and rocking on stage, and the audience was absolutely loving it. This crowd of old-school fans definitely were past their youth, but the old hits brought out this energy in them that was just as youthful and lively. The ability for this 90s band to hold such a loyal and excited fan base is a true testament to the music they have created—music that continues to evoke emotions that never die with time, and the band’s continued presence by touring and creating new albums even today ensures their fan base is ever-expanding, which now includes yours truly.

I surprised myself by knowing almost all the words to 90% of the songs played, as I didn’t realize just how much I’ve listened to The Verve Pipe since I first stumbled upon them back in September. With the top 13 requested songs in the first half, pieces from their newer albums in the second, and encores that only left everyone screaming for more, the entire night was filled with enjoyable, quality music that is rare to find today.

One of my favorite moments was during their hit song, The Freshmen. They performed the original version as Vander Ark and Musa took the stage with this raw classic. Everyone was singing along from the beginning, and there was a moment when the chorus came around where Vander Ark stopped singing and let the crowd carry the song. It was so pure and powerful and beautiful, and Vander Ark was clearly touched by it. I’d be lying if I said tears didn’t come to my eyes during that moment.

The Verve Pipe was everything I imagined them to be live, and more. In an unforgettable night, I suffered a pop smear so great, I would be more than happy to “suffer” again and again with this group of humble, talented, just absolutely amazing people.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to The Verve Pipe some more as I’m sure I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life.

PREVIEW: The Verve Pipe

Twenty-five years. Three million albums sold worldwide. A Michigan-native rock and roll band formed in the 1990s, The Verve Pipe’s music explores heartbreak, family, love, and loss that is as real now as it was back then. Filled with soul-searching lyrics and layered instrumentals, their work tackles problems and evokes emotions that is rare to find in contemporary alternative music today.

Still touring and still going strong, the band is bringing back all their hits from their first two albums and fan favorites from their entire discography with an exclusive, personal show at The Ark that will surely live up to its reputation of dazzling live shows.

I’ve become a huge fan of their music and I’m really excited to see them perform in such an intimate venue. Join me as The Verve Pipe performs their show “I’ve Suffered A Pop Smear” at The Ark on December 2 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Michigan Union Ticket Office or online at