Overworked and Underplayed - Review
Well, it's been two years since the single from this album was released, Staring Off At Nothing, so I think fans were happy to finally have the second full-length album from this groupl. Since this album contains the previously mentioned single track included, and this is their second album, I think this album is fairly predictible and should measure up to expectations of previous fans. The album contains eleven solid synthpop with an upbeat tempo, melodic vocals and catchy hooks.
As I've listened to it several times, the solid style that I've taken for granted in this group is really the anchor for this album. While it's not anything real innovative or new in any way, it's homogenous, yet has some attractive elements that should really please fans of this synthpop sound. Immediately upon hearing "Whole" I was hooked and caught up in this track and in the album collectively speaking. The smooth vocals and melodic arrangements take the listener back to the poppier side of the new wave of the 80's, but they keep things attractive with many modern electronic. This track also has a solid guitar line that takes it all to a new level. I think the single "Staring Off At Nothing" also builds on this foundation for another great track which puts to bed any question as to why it was chosen as the single.
Styles range from this excellent dance-friendly sounds to mid-tempo ballads and other pieces that maybe don't stand out quite as much as solid pieces as the previously mentioned tracks. "Stronger" falls under this style, while still remaining solid and powerful, but I think "Take Me Away" falls slightly short of it's potential, but many others like "I Scream" make up for it with the powerful electronics and deeper, more solid sound. One really positive aspect of this album is the strength and intelligence in the lyrics themselves. The power of the lyrics are lost slightly on the higher, lighter-sounding vocals, but they're still there just the same creating an uplifting atmosphere for the album.
So once again, for long-time fans of this synthpop band (with the emphasis on "pop" in many cases), this should measure up well and be another nice album to add to the collection. It has some nice hooks for electro-pop fans as well, so overall it presents itself as a good album. Maybe for fans of Pet Shop Boys or Erasure this would be a good addition.
Staring Off At Nothing (CDS) - Review
This is a band that I recently had the opportunity of seeing perform live at the A Different Drum labor day synthpop festival in Salt Lake City (2004). They put on a great performance and so I was pleased to hear this single shortly afterwards, although I was already familiar with the title track from the previously released Synthpop Club Anthems 3 disc. They put together a sound that is really upbeat, light and poppy synthpop sound. The title track is presented with four mixes, the original album version along with three others. Once again label mates Nevarakka appear with their trancy, techno mix that really speeds things up and delivers a very powerful and fun track. This disc also has two bonus tracks �Tomorrow (Junk Circuit Mix)� and �All I Want�. Both of these follow suit, keeping up that light-hearted feeling in their synthpop sound. Maybe what keeps this sound so light and pop friendly is the range that the vocalist can reach� he really can reach those high notes.
Label: A Different Drum