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Deepest Blue - Late September


Review: Jack Foley

IT'S difficult to put your finger on Deepest Blue, such is their mixture of styles - but try as hard as they might, they can't quite escape the pop tag that ultimately drags the album down.

The duo is comprised of Joel Edwards and Matt Schwartz who, by their own admission, are influenced by everybody from U2, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, and Seal, to The Cramps, Julian Cope, Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Police.

Hence, in their music, such influences shine through - yet, in their vocals, lies the biggest problem.

The simple fact is that Deepest Blue sound too boy-band orientated, for the most part, to be taken as seriously as any of the influences they mention.

Little wonder, then, to find them being championed by the likes of Capital FM, and the mainstream daytime shows of Radio 1.

The chart success of their singles, Deepest Blue and Is It A Sin are proof positive that they know where their biggest chance of success lies.

Which is a shame, given the promise shown in some of the other material.

The acoustically-driven Say Goodbye, for instance, bears all the hallmarks of early Oasis (Noel Gallagher-style), while the opening moments of Be Still My Heart veer into Moby territory - until the vocals kick in.

All too often, tracks start promisingly, yet come undone by the soft vocal style, which belongs in the charts and sits uncomfortably alongside some of the music.

And they wear their influences a little too thinly.

The chorus of Spread A Little Love, for instance, clearly yearns to be a U2 ballad, complete with Bono's yearning vocal style, while the sprawling soundscape that represents the backdrop to title track, Late September, harks back to the Pink Floyd of the Division Bell era, with a hint of Moby.

The catchy melodies of Shooting Star belong firmly rooted in chart territory, but come complete with an Oasis-style, Whatever orchestral loop, that adds to its charm. But, somehow, it's not enough.

When compared to most of the bland, manufactured mainstream material, there is a lot on this album that makes for pleasant listening.

But they are somewhat sold out by the presence of the former singles, which exemplify all that's wrong with the mainstream - and, sadly, with this album.

Had it been a little more daring, and a little more innovative, it may have been worthy of higher recommendation.

But for every interesting moment, there is always another bland, Ibiza-fixated track waiting in the wings, which renders it more than a little soulless.

Track listing:
1. Be Still My Heart
2. Can’t Believe
3. Is It A Sin
4. Give It Away
5. Turn Out Right
6. Shooting Star
7. Late September
8. Deepest Blue
9. Say Goodbye
10. Spread A Little Love

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