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CD Review: The Comas – Conductor

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“It’s only rock and roll, but I like it.”

Vapid? Absolutely.

But sometimes we need a gentle reminder not to overthink our music. The Comas’ Conductor has given me fits for nearly a week and I have come to the conclusion the reason I could not make heads or tails of the album is because I was trying too hard to understand it.

There are a lot of elitist music critics who approach a new album or artist with a “show me something” approach. I am quite the opposite. I want to like a new artist. I want to hear something great when I put a new CD into my stereo. I am a cheerleader.

Those cheerleading tendencies were one of the biggest obstacles to getting my head around this album. I wanted to like it too much.

“The Science Of Your Mind” opens the album and piques expectations. My initial reaction to the rest of Conductor was disappointment.

The first listen revealed an album taking itself a little too seriously – an album very impressed by its indie-ness. And this is an indie album. Songs about being dumped, ghost-like vocals, earnestness in every note. I wanted to like this record so much and it was deflating when I was not completely bowled over.

I do not remember at what point my my mind began change, but at some point this album grew on me.

If I had to venture a guess, it probably started with the fuzzed-guitar fury of “Inivisible Drugs and the swirling keyboards of “The Last Transmission.” These songs, along with “The Science of Your Mind” are the strongest.

I was able to let go of what I wanted Conductor to be and appreciate it for what it is. Sometimes engaging, rarely annoying. Conductor might not be the one album you take to that mythical deserted island, but you will probably like it. Even when the album bogs down, it is nothing less than competent.

There is just a sense that it all could have been more.

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://www.templestark.com/blog Temple Stark

    DJ R,

    I chose this for the Advance.net network.

    What does this mean? It means a handful of sites affiliated with mostly major newspapers now have your review on their site.

    Thank you
    – Temple Stark
    Blogcritics Music Review Editor