Listening to Way Out West's Don't Look Now is a bit like watching an Ingmar Bergman film without the emotion - it's intimate and intelligent, but when will we FEEL anything? Perhaps the problem lies in the familiarity of the sounds. Little new ground is explored here and the music sounds like much mid-level progressive house music released over the past 10 years - ambient soundscapes set to a lightly insistent dance beat washing in one ear and out the other. Perhaps the problem also lies in vocals. Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren (the duo that make up Way Out West) have enlisted the talents of Omi, a single-name singer who sounds, unfortunately, like a sleepier version of Dido.
There are a few likable tracks here. "Fear" builds up some nice tribal heat underneath an icy sea of synths and vocals. Omi builds up a little more emotion on the opening track "Anything But You," but the following song "Don't Forget Me" sounds too much like an Everything But the Girl throwaway. Too many tracks simply aren't memorable.
On the plus side there is nothing unpleasant here. Don't Look Now goes down smoothly as simple background music, but I was looking for more. Nothing here approaches the richness of Way Out West's major dance hit "Mindcircus" from their last album Intensify or builds the drama that lurked in the grooves of much of that project. The feeling taken away from Don't Look Now is one of intricate anonymity, well-constructed but ultimately ephemeral.