Alright— I'm willing to concede that music tastes are as unique as snowflakes and I understand that he was merely giving his opinion. Still— I think the guy could have eased up on the critique. After all, we're not talking about Shakespeare here.
I think the album is fun to listen to. Period. While Kelly called the album "soulless," I think the album is meant to be loud and exciting and that it pulls that off. That's where it's soul is. Just listen to tracks like "l'Ocean" and "Light Out" and you'll likely hear that Javelin isn't trying to be some poignant musical composition group. They're simply trying to put out something campy and summery.
Hi Beams is filled with electro-pop musicality. There are spry drums tracks, vocals harmonized with synth, and even some island funk. It's polished and relies heavily on the original beat constructs of members George Langford and Tom Van Buskirk. It's a stark contrast to the sample heavy efforts of their past. Which admittedly, were pretty damn good. But different doesn't mean worse.
There are still flashes of their older sound on the disjointed track "Nnormal," but Kelly is right when he claims the album is a serious departure for Javelin. It is. But maybe that's what I like about it. I've still got all my old Javelin to listen to and it doesn't get much better than "Oh! Centra" from 2010's No Mas. But now I've got something different from Javelin to listen to as well.
If Javelin never returns to their roots or continues to change in ways that don't make sense, then I'll start to worry. For now, I'm content with a ultra-fun album to pop in when I'm longing for the weather to turn warmer.