May 23, 2010

Fever by Sleepy Sun Review

image from Amazon

Artist: Sleepy Sun
Album: Fever
Release Date: 5/17/2010
Tracks: 9
Run-Time: 42:19

Track Rundown:
(All ratings out of 5 *'s.)

1) "Marina" - Guitar work that see-sawed between Jimi Hendrix awesomeness and someone who picks up a guitar for the very first time. Then the vocals come over and I basically lose interest. This track is a duet that see neither singer actually pull me into their song. It's essentially three songs mashed into one - a mellow Beatles duet that evolves into an African tribal ceremony, a cheap pseudo-blues pop song, and a psychedelic trip. 2 *'s.

2) "Rigamaroo" - This song seems to work together a lot better than the previous. Both vocalists doing the duet seem to be on the same page on what kind of song they want to do, and the guitarist is also cooperating with the tone rather than running away for Hendrix solos. Still missing a particular "it" factor that makes the song widely accepted, but by comparison pretty darn close. 4 1/4 *'s.

3) "Wild Machines" - A little bit of spaghetti western country, and a little bit psychedelic trip. Actually comes off pretty well and pretty harmonious. Sort of an ode to anyone playing modern day Clint Eastwood, gritty lonewolf son of a gun caught up in a crazy world. 5 *'s, could make a great film soundtrack piece.

4) "Ooh Boy" - A pretty good country duet but there's something so over the top sappy about the way the male vocalists sings with the female vocalists that it irritates me. The song starts off with just the male vocalist and he really is running it home, doing a great job, then when the female vocalist jumps in the mood changes. Not a great song overall, but thankfully they kept it short before they could do more harm to it. 2 3/4 *'s.

5) "Acid Love" - Really a letdown of a song that essentially turned to white-noise. I was so bored by this track I was looking for other things to do. 1 *.

6) "Desert God" - The first song I feel like some real enthusiasm and initiative was put into. The singers step outside their mellow laid-back California breeze and give a little bit of their heart. 5 *'s.

7) "Open Eyes" Another song that seems really slopilly put together with low tones, staticy auto-tune and genuinely nothing interesting until the final minute of the the 3:37 track. In the final third of the song things get really interesting but everything before that is a chore to get through. 2 1/4 *'s.

8) "Freedom Line" - Really? Really? A lot like the first miserable track on this album, the duet doesn't match at all (I'm starting to think that they're just ying and yang singers that shouldn't be together) and instead of the guitarist running away frequently for trippy solos, we get an overenthusiastic tribal drummer. There isn't enough chocolate and/or pickles in the world to numb the pain drawn from this song. 1/2 *.

9) "Sandstorm Woman" - Starts off with all kinds of success. A Doors tributing, psychedelic, somber in-the-background male solo with the female vocalist only coming in now and again. Then a perfect blues harmonica joins the fray and shockingly, this is the most talented portion of the entire album. The vocals only get better in the next minute of the song and the more I listen, the angrier I get that the rest of the tracks were so terrible because they can clearly do better! 5 *'s.

My Highlights:
"Wild Machines", "Desert God" and "Sandstorm Woman" should all be given a listen if anyone has any interest in checking out this band.

Overall Rating:
Averaging all the ratings together the album gets a total score of 3 *'s. This is the bare minimum of a rating I would give an album I suggest people spend their money on, so I do suggest people giving them a chance, particularly for the tracks listed in My Highlights, but as an overall experienced, I was underwhelmed and can't rightfully leave it at 3 *'s. Using my super secret big-picture brownie points powers to factor in things like hits-to-miss ratio, track length vs. number of tracks and just general entertainment value, I have to knock the score down a whole 1/2 *. The final score is an unfortunate 2 1/2 *'s out of 5, which means I certainly won't be paying my hard-earned money for it. But maybe you'll be more lenient than I am when listening to it and they'll turn out to be your new favorite California experimental psychedelic indie band. But then if you listen to it too much, if you're not already potential stoner-hippy hackysacker Vaughn Miller from Community, you may turn into him.

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