There are a lot of positive things to say about this album; tasteful and varied, well produced and well written. There are also a lot of problems. Despite the variety and intensity of effort that has been put into it, it smacks of blandness and good manners. It is po-faced and very self important which distracts from its good intentions. It is also overburdened with vocals. The singer is very talented and charismatic vocally, and reminds me a little of Jeff Buckley, but frankly I’m getting sick of everyone singing over everything nowadays. Especially if they decide to go all RnB like he does on “Visions” the first track I actually had to skip when I couldn’t take any more.
It is like an album written by consensus, or one written by a “supergroup”. All the wrinkles are ironed out, and while it is very hard to point at any one thing and go “that’s the problem”, the whole thing has had its character musically botoxed out. I can see this being the sort of record they put on when all the oldies have gone to bed at the Tory party conference. You can see people clapping along avidly but arrythmically at the live performances.
It is probably worth making up your own mind on this one (there is a Stateless tune on the most recent Behind Closed Doors) but this is another tastefully done and elegantly executed album that I simply couldn’t give a shit about.