"Troubled, Shaken, Etc." (The Social Registry; 2009)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The second album from UK's Sian Alice Group includes a lot of angles and approaches, but they achieve varied results at best.

There is jazz, folk and more tossed into a multi-layered approach. At best, the results are rich and warm, but more often than not their need for repetition hampers the impact that could have been there. The vocals are soft, floating and manage to achieve a hypnotic effect on occasion. The song structure and the way the music fades back into the background lets me know that pushing the vocals is a major goal.

This band see-saws between feast and famine to some extent. They often push forth thick bursts of sound with every instrument contributing but, just as quickly, they fade into bland lines and lapse into a tendency to try and cruise to the end of the song.

Sian Alice Group show hints of originality and some vision toward tapping into some effective and insightful passages. Unfortunately, they don't pursue those ideas enough and their bright lights seem all too temporary. Far too often I found myself reaching for the fast forward button halfway through a song which, of course, is never a good sign.

The band's talent is obvious but the ideas are either limited, restrained or a combination of both.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:22 -0400.