3 song promo
~reviewed by Blu
Anchored with heart felt, emotional lyrics and propelled by grand rock anthem like melodies along with dance friendly beats, Chicago's Soulscape may have found a combination for success in this somewhat fickle scene. With their lead vocalist no stranger to club nights, this marriage between old school goth rock and new dance/electronica (via the new wave influences of the '80s), attempts to give patrons the best of both.
Let me first state that I love these three songs and anyone would be amiss not to check them out. I think this promo is a brilliant start to what I hope will be a long list of CDs from this group. Having said that, it is often hard to write about music that you like but have suggestions for without it seeming negative somehow and I wish to avoid that altogether. It's not the same as criticism. These are not bad tracks. These are tracks I would listen to as they are without any changes. It's my hope that the band takes my following comments as the excitement of contemplating what more they could be with a tweak here and tweak there. Of course, this is only my opinion...
Having said that, track 1 is titled "Dreamfree" which opens with a synth propelled percussion and interesting electronic bleeps before the straightforward, masculine vocals come in with a touch of guitar strumming. The beat is strong and I find myself immediately bobbing along with it however, when we reach the chorus, the anticipation for a build up is a bit let down. I've listened to this track over and over again, and it's not that its bad at all, it's that I just want MORE at the chorus. The synth lines imply more emphasis, the vocals get more urgent, and yet something is lacking -- that one big push. And perhaps it's the absence of real percussion or perhaps it's because the bass bleeds out so low that I can't hear it nor the guitar at that point. I hear the synths and I want more. Find a way to give it more power at the chorus and it'll be a chilling moment.
"Rise Again" is great because of it's march-like tempo and uber-catchy melody (I've haven't gotten out of my head for weeks). The bass work is excellent on this song and I wouldn't mind hearing more of it and although the percussion elements are varied, this is one song that I cannot help feel would sound so much better with a live drummer. You just cannot generate that militaristic force of real drums with synths.
And finally track 3, titled "The Crossing," is their most electronic/dance beat song and here, I think the electronic percussion works quite well and is certainly the most "club friendly" at this point. I also really like the soaring guitar part that glides and buzzes over the top at points in counter melody to the vocals.
Overall, a very promising promo EP and my only word of advice is - give us MORE. More vocals, more bass, more guitar. Lay it on us. I can't wait to hear what's next...
Soulscape on this recording: