Disconcerting and maze-like, Pram
's second full-length effort shapes and refines the ideas of their previous records; Helium
's primary components -- Moog burblings, exotic rhythms, and cool-toned horns -- are more typically the building blocks of lounge music, but Pram
is instead all about uneasy listening, cutting and pasting schizophrenic sound collages topped off by Rosie Cuckston
's unnerving vocals. For all of its inventiveness, however, Helium
is often too willfully obscure for its own good. It's no surprise that the best track here, the cinematic "Blue," is also the most focused and subtle, complete with a deep bass groove and jazzy trumpet flourishes.