[record reviews: phanerothyme]
Review of Phanerothyme taken from the
After a nice little break from putting out at least one album a year, Motorpsycho released what I felt was their best work so far, Let Them Eat Cake. Well, it seems they went back to work, and it only took a year for this follow- up to be released. And it shows. Bleh!
Stylistically we have a continuation of the pop music of the previous album, but with some inclusions of the easy-on-the-ear hard rock from their Barracuda EP. The opening track "Bedroom Eyes" caught me off-guard, as it's the complete opposite of the average attention catchers bands normally go for, but rather a fairly subdued, if somewhat cheesy, ballad. Though it's quickly followed up by the uptempo, quite fun rocker "For free".
These guys are still very capable musicians, and it shows, with all sorts of nifty little things, and plenty of huge grooves to latch onto as well. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that the songs on this album just aren't all that inspired. "Go to California" being a prime example of a "hey, haven't I heard this before" kinda song, which just drags on and on, while tracks such as the dancy "B.S." and almost "Caravan meets Coldplay"-like ballad "Blindfolded" sound kinda nice, but end up just being unfulfilling.
Frankly, this stands as one of my biggest disappointments of 2001, and while the guys are able to come up with some enjoyable bits, there's not much else that I can truly praise on this album than the production, which is both clear and powerful, the first single "The slow phaseout", and the aforementioned "For free". This isn't a horrible album by any means, but I feel that it's several steps down the ladder for Motorpsycho. I'd rather go listen to Let Them Eat Cake or Demon Box when I'm in the mood for this band.