“Language Lab Collection” by Sonic Stylus

February 23, 2007

Released: 2007
Genre: Ambient
Label: Language Lab
URL: http://language-lab.net

With music like ambient the struggle lies in keeping the music mesmerising rather than becoming dull. While the sound texture might be pleasing for your ears, it’s not very likely you will remember anything about the tune you just listened to, unless it has a memorable melody or exceptional harmonies. So is there anything on the “Language Lab Collection” that makes it special? Almost nothing. Overall the sound textures are quite pleasing, making the album a perfect candidate for my next cow milking session.

There are moments of beauty however. Some of it can be heard on “Hand in the moss covered tree” where the sounds and melodies, rather successfully, create a mesmerising melancholic mood, but only for a little while in the beginning. The only tune that stands out is the album opener “Coloring Books”. It has a beautiful lead melody which simply makes all the difference in the world. Suddenly you pay attention. Suddenly you care. I’m still trying to figure out what the purpose of the other tunes on the album is. Perhaps it’s considered cool to release an album.



“Issues” by Next Item

February 4, 2007

Released: 2006
Genre: Hiphop
URL: http://www.nextitem.nl

You have to wonder how many half-decent hiphop acts there are out there trying to get somewhere. Every country has a hiphop scene, and every country has a whole bunch of average rappers, singers and beatmakers. Good enough to make decent sounding music, but not good enough to really stand out and make a difference. Next Item is a Dutch band, and like with most European acts they are still far behind their American colleagues in terms of quality.

“Issues” has got sort of a groovy feeling with a touch of soul. It tells a story about the common issues in relationships. Unfortunately neither the rapping, the singing or the beat is exciting enough to keep the interest up for very long. Whatever the message in the tune is, you forget halfway through because there’s simply nothing in the tune that carries it on. All in all a forgettable experience. Half-decent is the word.



“Cerebellum” by Candybag

February 4, 2007

Released: 24/01/07
Genre: Drum & Bass
URL: http://www.beatmaka.com/candybag

This is your typical everyday techstep drum & bass tune. The beats are crisp, the evil bassline is in place, and the additional sound effects give the tune the final touch. It’s all working well together, but yet it comes down as a fairly tedious tune. Beyond the good sound texture there is simply nothing in the tune that is memorable (except for the cellphone sound perhaps). I believe it would work well on the dance floor, but creatively speaking it follows an all too common formula. It lacks soul.

I’m not arguing that you have to be original and come up with something new all the time, but occassionally it’s very apparent when people mimic something or follow a formula within a specific genre of music. Basically you turn off your creative soul and just do what is expected. The result can still be acceptable, like in this case.




January 31, 2007

I am Simon Cowbell. A music critique you will love to hate. Please read the “About” page to fully understand what this blog is about. When you’re done, start sending me your music so I can tell you how much you suck.