Catalogue Number: Paradigms 021
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007
Somebody asked of the Bluesbunny where reviews come from. Fortunately the answer to that question is a lot less difficult and embarrassing than explaining where babies come from. Music is a personal thing and the best music - regardless of genre - should have some sort of emotional impact on the listener. Reviews are therefore an attempt to convey, in words, what the music on the album meant to the reviewer. Being genre agnostic, Bluesbunny likes a challenge so pointing our ears at this debut album by Tropes (apparently a nom-de-plume for Germany's Susan Bauszat) was just part of what we like to do.
This turned out to be an odd album to listen to. Coming across like folk music that has processed with enough reverb to make Phil Spector envious before being dipped in atmospheric quirkiness, it somehow manages to stay focused. Focused on what is hard to say as it is certainly more about ambience than verse-chorus-verse and let's get to number one in the charts. However, there is room for all kinds of music in the Bluesbunny record collection but what it comes down to is that I found it hard to warm to. The songs did tend to merge into each other as well but that is probably by design. For the purposes of this review, "Remnant" stood out with some exquisitely layered vocals giving a dramatic, ethereal feel to the song and "Ember" was the closest in structure to a conventional song. By the way, I also have a strong suspicion that this album will sound a lot better on a good hifi than on your average iPod type thing.
Not an album that the Bluesbunny would listen to every day then but it could be a very handy reference if you happen to find yourself in the company of a young lady with dark, sad eyes. After she has bewitched you, she will drift away into the shadows with this music echoing around the room.
February 28, 2008
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