Saturday, December 02, 2006

circle of sorrow

I don't know about you but a lot of the time that I here a band compared to another band that I really like, I cringe a little. Sometimes it's because the comparisons aren't very accurate, and other times it's because the bar is now set pretty high.

When I first heard about Various Productions, without fail a comparison to Portishead would rear it's ugly head. Essentially all the reviews kind of noted that they took the dubstep style and combined it with a Portishead feel.

Though I like both dubstep and Portishead I kind of figured that there was no way this album could be any good. However, for reasons that I still don't know I decided to pick up The World Is Gone anyway, and boy am I glad that I did. This CD may end up as my favorite album of the year. I think I have listened to it a dozen times at least in the past week.

And I can safely say that the comparisons to Portishead are completely mind-boggling to me. I just don't get it. I think it's obvious that there is a much more direct line to Massive Attack and even Lamb (just to do the exact thing I was complaining about).

The first three songs give you a feel for the variety of the entire album. Album opener-Thunnk-is a solid fairly straight forward dubstep tune, with vocals reminiscent of an Ed Rush/Trace tune. Circle Of Sorrow however is a completely different story more of post-apocalyptic folk in the vein of the most recent Massive Attack album. The massive attack comparisons continue with Don't Ask which sounds like the dub-tinged darkness of Angel.

From there the album proceeds to mix and match these sounds while staying fairly true to the dubstep with vocals template. It may be surprising that despite a review that is a little cold and detached, I really like this album. I have been listening to it pretty much non-stop for the last two weeks. I love it for the same reasons that I love Lamb and Massive Attack, Various Productions take a sound-dubstep-and make it their own. Yes their sound is reminiscent of other groups but it is still updated and fresh and that is what makes it original to me.

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