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South / Adventures In The Underground Journey To The Stars

22-Aug-2006 11:03 pm Contributed by: pete Music Reviews
11 Track CD
Copyright © 2006 Young American Recordings, LLC or South on MySpace
Listen Listen to Up Close And Personal
Enema Rating:
South is a trio from London, England that have been playing together since 1998. Adventures In The Underground Journey To The Stars is their third full album, and is without doubt their most straight-forward pop effort, in a good and accessible way. The opening track is neither brilliant nor irritating and is filled with easy to take echoing vocals, a fast-tempo beat, and soothing "aaahoooo" background vocals. This track shows some affinity with bands such as Doves, Better Than Ezra, and Snow Patrol.

The album picks up with a really strong 3rd track, You Are One, that has a great melody, catchy guitar, and high quality supporting percussion and bass. Aside from the 30 seconds of "subway sounds" filler at the end, this is a song that I can imagine getting wide radio airplay. The music in Pieces Of A Dream shows some similarities to one of my currently favourite bands, Elbow, but the vocals are softer and closer to Jimi Goodwin from Doves. It's a mixture that works really well and makes for great bedroom listening. The next track Know Yourself is percussion-free, acoustical guitar-based duet sung with Pearl Lowe that has a slight slant toward alt-country. The seventh track, Safety In Numbers, has a vague 60's influence from bands like The Zombies or Status Quo.

The clincher is the ninth track, Up Close And Personal, that starts out in such a way that it reminds me heavily of some of my favourite Badly Drawn Boy songs, but then within a minute gains its own unique feel. Although my opinion of this CD seems to change after each listen, at the moment, this is the track that keeps me coming back to have another listen.

The songs on this album are well placed in relation to each other. A slightly weaker middle section is surrounded by stronger tracks, with the best tracks placed carefully at track 3 and track 9. This means that any lulls in the CD are short and the strength of the next few songs brings you back into music. This entire album has made it into my current leisure-time listening rotation.


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