Annuals CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Nov 9, 2007, 05:57
ANNUALS Be He Me CD
Now that a year has passed since the Annuals debut, Be He Me, has been released has it lived up to the hype? The young Raleigh, NC based sextet has been blown up beyond belief, surpassing the “blog band” title to be touted by the biggies as something every single reader needs to own. Conan pushed them into primetime and Sony was the first to recently get their grubby paws on their naivetÃ©. To like something at first rarely means that it has the clout to be as good after time passes and the ears dip into a new sauce.
The most noted, and notable, has to be the first track, “Brother”. It was the first leaked and a wonderful sample of what is to come. To listen to it today is as exciting as the first time. The campfire intro, complete with crickets, is subtle and draws the listener in close. Electronic chimes descend and ascend to a crescendo unexpected and eternally tasty. You will find your ears stretching and tiring quickly, though, at the amount of sounds mingling with one another. Listing Mike Patton, Aphex Twin, and Broken Social Scene as influences proves an eclectic, pronounced taste, but to throw them into one basket only leads to confusion and over-saturation.
Song by song adds the sounds together and it is too easy to get lost. A world is created in this Be He Me, but whether or not it is a world to live in is another question. Indecisiveness permeates as a blip morphs into a bop while collectively hovering above the ever-changing drum sounds. Reflective, yes, but also aquatics run through the veins and before reaching the end track, “Sway,” most everyone has drowned completely perplexed on what to think.
“Father” remains a standout track with its simplicity. A more focused piano/voice duet breaks the surface and allows oxygen to revive a blurry, shaking head. With a straightforward approach the goals of singer/songwriter Adam Baker is more easily deciphered than in the blanketed casseroles of any other song on the album. Hopefully he also realizes this and makes many significant changes with the major label debut to give him and his cohorts a fighting chance in the impossible world of the music industry.
Looking back, yes it was worth all of the hoopla. If they are to survive, though, it will only come with maturation, smart instrument placement, and a chance for their listeners to hear it with a clear head. [Ace Fu]
Buy it now at AMAZON