Audible Musings

jj n° 2
July 14, 2009, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is a band that I had never heard of prior to last week when I stumbled upon some best albums of (the first half of) 2009 lists. After scouring the usual download outlets, I was forced to drop a whopping 8 bucks on their work. God forbid I actually support an artist…that said, it was a 320 kbit download, something that itunes+ doesn’t even offer (lame). So that means the download link below is extremely high quality. (You’re welcome)

n° 2 opens with two tunes that sound remarkably alike in their Regaeton backbeat topped with caribbean sounding drums that could be found thumping through a cabana on a white sand beach effortlessly complimented by pina coladas and strawberry daqueris. This sound is contrasted by the vocals that, shrouded by filters and reverb, unfortunately fall prey to the trite airy whisper of a woman whimsically cooing to her audience from a swallow shaped cloud floating by. The controlled chaos of emotions, however, that is reflected by the melodic as well as sonic development of the songs reflects the bands depth as artists and combats the flaws of the vocals that are, at best, a mediocre attempt at Bat For Lashes.

Although the vocals never vary, the songs most certainly fluctuate. They span a breadth of musical genres all the way from the aforementioned regaeton to whiny singer-songwriter, often across such short expanses as a windy transition. And with lyrics like “Don’t let the sun slip away, let it come out and play,” the band provideslistenable up-tempo summer jams for the topless convertible roaring down the freeway to the next distant beach.

The album becomes more multi-dimensional as it progresses. There is the summer-loving opening two tracks, followed by the instant party-maker “Ectasy,” contrasted by the more introspective “Are You Still In Vallda?”, only to dive into a synth-based adventure into sound that swirlls around your ears and takes the mind to a calmer place, perhaps down the beach from the cabana to a secluded shoreline.

The band returns on the other side of the half-way point significantly subdued. The regaton beat returns once more, but it is eclipsed by much more melodic sentiments, such as the guitar that overshadows the rest of the tune including the female vocals that fade into the background. In “My Hopes And Dreams,” we find the band at its goofiest as they experiment with different sounds during the climax of this tune that ultimately fades into a the commentary of “Masterplan.” The album closes on the sad song of breakup, “Me & Dean.” With lyrics like “where would you start, with the truth we shared, or the lies that drove us apart?” the band makes it clear that it has some emotional baggage to share, but in an instant can mock itself with cheesy falsetto that is at first laughable and then developed into a fade-out melody that closes the album on a fun yet simultaneously somber note.

jj n° 2


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