Local band Odor of Pears tries really hard to have a dark and mysterious, almost gothic style in their music. Their latest album "Mortal" is no different. The problem with the music is they try too hard to make it dark and ominous.
One of things that has always bothered me about music like Odor of Pear's [sic!] is the canned musical sound that comes out of keyboard; It sounds so fake and computer-generated. Sometimes that type of sound works. It doesn't work for the songs on "Mortal."
The effects Odor of Pears tries to get would have been so much more affective [sic!] if they had gone out and gotten other instruments involved. They tried to make it perfect, and in doing so made it worse. Even the pictures that accompany the CD review packet gave the impression that they were out to prove just how freakish they really were.
Live guitars, flutes, drums, etc. will generally produce a much higher quality of sound and make the melodies feel more realistic.
If you can get past the fact that the only instrument present in most of the songs on the album is a keyboard, the album has some good points. Singer Diana Blackwell, whose picture on the back cover might just prove how melodramatic the band really is, draws you in with a sultry, siren-like voice. Her words entreat you into their world, psychotic as it might be, on the very first song, "In Orbit."
"Tease me. I like the way you tease me."
"Mortal" has older Odor of Pears songs on it, including a pretty nifty song called "Touch Me (I'm a Freak)." The music isn't so noticeable in this song, only Blackwell's voice really makes a presence. Her words float through the misty haze into your ears and settle into your thoughts [sic!].
"You would like to see me down on my knees. I'd rather die. Pride of perversion, you and all the others won't make me cry."
Overall, Blackwell's voice and the generally moving lyrics can't make up for the album's biggest flaw: It doesn't grab you. It doesn't reach out through the speakers, grab you by the neck and force you to listen. In some ways it could even be a burden to sit down and actually listen to it.
It's just that Blackwell and her fellow mates Joe K. and Russell try too hard. You can feel it in the music.
It might make good background music, through. -- Carrie James
[Die, Carrie James, die! Sincerely, OOP]
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© Odor of Pears 2004, Rev: 02/10/04