Auralift, Something to Cry About

Auralift, Something to Cry About

Something To Cry About begins and ends with what sound like European cowbells; ocean sounds, city soundscapes, and nocturnal insects float in and out, connecting the songs. Auralift’s co-founder Ben Hargrove suggests that there is no overarching theme but that “the music still flows with a deep sense of continuity and connection.” One of the strongest songs is the first, “Meaning For,” with its joyous chorus harmony. Night-driving sounds coast into “Long Time Sigh,” musically rocking and fun but paired with uninteresting and tuneless vocals. Native American chanting introduces “072904,” the first of a few instrumentals featuring vocalist/guitarist/bassist Jason Meador on drums (I’m assuming this, mind you; if the guitar is supposed to be the featured instrument, they should’ve removed the obvious strumming mistakes and blown notes). “Whisper” floats along nicely, with a wobbly Leslie-sounding guitar riff holding things together admirably until the vocals start. “This Island’s Shore” comes straight from Ben Folds’s notebook (is that the bossa nova or the cha-cha?), but with a brutally out-of-tune chorus. “Benterlude” is a nice, Moog-y instrumental, interweaved with seagull sounds and water lapping on the shore, sliding into “Forever Girl,” a grimy acoustic dirge reminiscent of early STP — then the vocals come in. “Silence Now” is more of the same, and “Something to Cry About” starts out strong but devolves into poorly-mixed echo-panned guitar soundscaping. And more cowbell.

Auralift is a studio project, and it unfortunately sounds like it. The musicianship is interesting, although there are numerous self-indulgent drum parts and way too many instrumentals. The singer sounds out of tune on many of the songs, especially at the top of his range; I’m guessing that’s why his vocal is deeply buried in the mix. I’m not a fan of vocal tuning in general, but in this case, I may have to change my mind — it’s that rough. Finally, although the songs are competent, there is little sense of urgency; there is no style. It doesn’t seem like Auralift has much to say or is really compelled to say it.

(Moshmellow Records -- 1860 FM 359 #105, Richmond, TX. 77469;; Auralift --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Saturday, November 17th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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