Friday, June 21, 2013

Wisdom of Crowds

This project is being called Bruce Soord with Jonas Renkse on iTunes and it might even be the officially name but I'm referring to it as Wisdom of Crowds, it sounds better .  Bruce from Pineapple Theif is the song writer and multi-instrumentalist on this thing, Jonas just sings and he does so very much in the similar fashion to what he does in Katatonia. I see this album as his Puscifer. Its very electronic based sometimes reminding me of Dredg's "Catch Without Arms" album, There are some real guitars layered over the programmed beats and synths.

Sometimes the songs makes them sound to happy for Jonas to be layered atop them, but once you get used to it. There is an interesting dynamic juxtaposition. There is a very 90's alternative sound to the opener " Pleasure", in the sense there is more of a sense of groove and melody , almost Everything But the Girl or Garbage but in a more rock direction. Guitars sonically power the second half of the song, though not in a metal sense.

The title track is what reminds me most of the Dredg album, as you can feel the California sun in it's grooves, this is strange since they hail from Northern Europe and I don't normally equate the almost goth Jonas with sunshine, so this is where the pairing feels the weirdest, but this is still a good song.    

"Radio Star". has very commercial lyrics and for some reason reminds me of Peter Gabriel. It backs off on the chorus and reminds me of the song "Praise You" by Fat Boy Slim, yes you did just read me reference that."Frozen North" works for me in keeping the dancey electronic feel but with some moments that rock. The plaintive approach to melodies that is one of Jonas' signatures worked well on this chorus  though some times hi voice sounds very naked with out the use of certain harmonies

There is a Depeche Mode vibe to "the Light" even when the harder electronic elements bridge the song. His voices sounds much more suited over this though the melody seems less melancholy than what we are use to and he is forced into using a little more conventional phrasing.. Musically I like where this goes and the guitar work is pretty close to perfect.

This album really has some excellent songwriting to win me over, considering how it's not a dark album by any means. Its a rainy afternoon while the suns out. "Stacked Naked" has some Pink Floyd elements to it, even though the fuzzed out tremolo picked guitar at the choral crescendo ass a little intensity.

By " Pretend " I find I'm ready for the pace to pace up out of the balladry. The programming here is almost acid jazz like in it's simplicity.Things pick up with the closer "The Centre of Gravity"  which moves its groove onto a European dance floor the way some of Placebo's more electronic efforts might.

The solid songwriting it what keeps my attention and draws me back for further listening, as well as some of the curiosity in regards to some of these melodies lay on the outskirts of what we normally here from Jonas. Is this his best singing to date? No, but it is something we haven't heard from him before and to his credit Bruce Soord has crafted some excellent back drops for it to sit against.  I'll give this an 8 as it sounds somewhat dated and there are some weird generic commercial grooves here that sound like drum presets.  


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