Car Seat Headrest: Making a Door Less Open Album Review

“Making a Door Less Open” is a fresh and adventurous album by Car Seat Headrest, where singer-songwriter Will Toledo steps into new territory. With a gas mask on and electronic sounds at the forefront, Toledo aims to distance himself from the indie fame associated with Car Seat Headrest. In this review, we’ll dive into the album’s different aspects, from its tracks to production, lyrics, and more.

Making a Door Less Open Album Overview

The album runs for about 43 minutes, making it one of Car Seat Headrest’s shorter releases. It draws inspiration from the band’s early days of releasing individual singles, rather than focusing on a grand concept. Toledo introduces Trait, a gas-mask-wearing alter ego, to shift attention away from the typical Car Seat Headrest persona.

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Track Analysis

“Making a Door Less Open” opens with “Weightlifters,” reminiscent of previous hits like “Fill in the Blank.” The song introduces a more elaborate showmanship, with electronic elements that add a grand feel. “Can’t Cool Me Down” and “There Must Be More Than Blood” circle back to their hooks, highlighting the cyclical nature of emotions. However, some tracks like “Hymn” and “What’s With You Lately” feel less essential to the album’s overall impact.

Production and Instrumentation

Toledo embraces electronic influences, stepping away from Car Seat Headrest’s traditional sound. The use of electronic elements brings a repetitive yet engaging texture to the album. Songs like “Life Worth Missing” and “Famous” show the influence of Toledo’s electronic side project, 1 Trait Danger. These tracks experiment with panning effects and intense drums, creating a distinct atmosphere.

Songwriting and Lyrics

The album explores autobiographical themes, with tracks like “Hollywood” reflecting Toledo’s observations on the entertainment industry’s superficiality. While some lyrics may seem familiar, Toledo presents them in a catchy manner that invites reflection. “Deadlines” delves into the challenges of songwriting, showcasing Toledo’s introspective side.

Vocal Performance

Toledo’s vocal performance on “Making a Door Less Open” remains true to his signature style. His delivery captures the emotions conveyed by the lyrics, whether it’s the introspection in “Deadlines” or the energetic exuberance in “Weightlifters.” The vocals meld seamlessly with the electronic elements, creating a unique sonic experience.

Comparisons and Influences

The album draws comparisons to Car Seat Headrest’s previous work, particularly “Teens of Denial.” It also showcases influences from Toledo’s electronic side project, 1 Trait Danger, adding depth to the album’s sonic palette. However, the album falls short of fully embracing the contrarian conviction that might create future cult classics.

Emotional Impact

“Making a Door Less Open” captures a range of emotions, from exhaustion to introspection. The album’s electronic elements amplify the emotional depth of the tracks, allowing listeners to connect with Toledo’s experiences and observations.

Target Audience

The album appeals to fans of Car Seat Headrest who are open to exploring new sounds and directions. Additionally, those interested in electronic music and experimental blends of genres will find elements to appreciate.


While “Making a Door Less Open” introduces electronic influences, some tracks feel inessential to the album’s overall narrative. The album could benefit from a more consistent sense of risk-taking and experimentation.

Personal Insights

As a listener, the album’s evolution and willingness to experiment are commendable. The fusion of electronic elements with Toledo’s introspective lyrics creates a unique listening experience that prompts reflection on fame, creativity, and self-expression. While not a complete departure from Car Seat Headrest’s roots, the album paves the way for further exploration and growth.


In conclusion, “Making a Door Less Open” marks an exciting chapter in Car Seat Headrest’s musical journey. With its electronic influences, autobiographical themes, and introspective lyrics, the album invites listeners to join Toledo on a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant exploration. While not without its minor drawbacks, the album showcases the band’s commitment to pushing boundaries and evolving their sound. Fans of Car Seat Headrest and those intrigued by electronic experimentation will find much to appreciate in this release.

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