Friday, February 20, 2009

Reviews:: The Soiree Minor Details

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Last time we checked in with Ottawa’s The Soiree, they were happy to play delicate folk melodies that revealed themselves slowly. Most reviewers wondered if there was something in the 613 water, and the band couldn’t shake comparisons to another successful Ottawa outfit (and to be honest the hand drawn tools on the new cover kind of remind me of the Tin Fist EP artwork). But when it comes to reviews, the sounds like game is the easy way out, especially since this time around The Soiree expand on the subtle textures they layer so well and deliver a more assured collection of songs full of hooks and confidence.

Minor Details explodes out of the blocks with the spirited piano pop of Coast to Coast. Horns and hooks back Bryce Colenbrander’s vocals and jump starts the record. It’s a quick, two minute pop ditty but it lets you know that the band is ready to expand on their sound and the energy flows nicely into Monsters. Even though the warm sounds are more in line with the sounds you’d expect from The Soiree, the deep hollowed out drum kick and the bounce of the bass line steeps the track with energy.

They control the tempo and energy of the record well, allowing the listener to surge and retreat with the band. Hide the Evidence crunches along, benefiting from a quick moving bass line and a heavy chorus, but they quickly take their foot off the gas and follow it up with the intricate The Way We Move. Minor Details twists and turns and the band refuses to let the listener settle into a complacent listen. They are quite happy to escape the security of the "warm blanket" previously associated to their sound and use inspired, slow builds (like they add to tracks like Enemies) in almost every song.

With all of the new sounds they have added to the repertoire, you might be tempted to say this record is The Soiree trying to find their sound, but everything they try sounds so good it’s like they’ve been playing it for years. They use their comfort zone as a starting point - The Work That We Do could have appeared on a previous work – but they transform their sound with a huge outro. Whether it’s the straight ahead pop of Perfect Crimes, the proggy breakdown they unveil on East-West or the summery piano that ends the record, they manage to tie every style together to create a terrific listen.

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Posted at 4:30 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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