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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Soma Sonic
Sim-pli-ci-ty
Sub Sonic

Rating: 5/10 ?


August 23, 2006
A needless gimmick is one thing, but when it comes at the expense of a reviewer's convenience then adjustments really are in order. Accordingly, Sim-pli-ci-ty, as Soma Sonic's album is officially named, will from now on be referred to simply as Simplicity. To put it simply.

Niggling inconveniences aside, Simplicity's length makes tackling it in one go a somewhat daunting prospect. Spread over two discs, it covers over 100 minutes, but most people should be fairly certain whether Simplicity will make a lasting impression within the first few tracks. Although it becomes immediately apparent that Soma Sonic's France and Dom Paterson are keen for the record buying public to get value for their money, the proof, for lack of a better cliché, is in the pudding.

Soma Sonic's exercised sound covers a substantially sized slab of the musical spectrum: house, trip-hop, dub and jazz are each dipped into in drips and drabs by the Paterson brothers, so there is ample variation between each track, but somehow Simplicity fails to deliver any standouts. The trip begins with "Lovestory," a breezy house number with some pseudo-Spanish guitar, which is hinted towards at various points throughout the recording. A little further in, "Memories" demonstrates a similar twang at a slower tempo, with Christelle Pechi's contributing vocals making a more prominent appearance. The woozy "Oxygen" and the eponymous track present Soma Sonic's best cases for credit, but whether they warrant the padding of 20 others is the real question at hand.

Soma Sonic need to focus on quality rather than quantity to make a serious impact. On the contrary, there's no doubting the Paterson brothers' production capabilities, and even Christine Pechin's voice is quite compelling at times, but some refinement would allow Soma Sonic to progress from the okay-ish jack-of-all-trades status they appear to be treading in order to realize their full potential. On the evidence of Simplicity, a crash course in quality control wouldn't go amiss before designs for the next Soma Sonic record are drawn up.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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