The Great Northern

Remind Me Where The Light Is

Written by: TL on 13/06/2009 18:23:27

According to their myspace, The Great Northern are a "Rock / Rock / Rock" band California. However, judging from the sound of their new record "Remind Me Where The Light Is", I'd be more inclined towards labeling it indie-pop, as I would be towards wondering who would ever dream of sending it to this website and expect a good review. You see despite my being the most open towards pop music of our writers, countless spins of this album have left me entirely unimpressed with it. It is quite frankly pretty God damn boring.

Instrumentally these songs mostly grow from a thick base of simplistic bass lines and thumping drumming while the actual melodies are provided by equally simple guitars, pianos and the occasional sampled violin. On top, singer Rachel Stolte sings in a casual, hazy voice that has me thinking of The Cardigans - Or Madonna's "Frozen" song - but I was never the most knowledgeable in the area of female singers so better comparisons are likely possible. There seems to be an intent to give these songs a kind of floaty sound while imbuing them with the same charm and charisma that embodies a band like for instance The Arcade Fire, but at the latter, The Great Northern fail completely. They do so mostly because of Stolte's relatively limited talents. She's a solid singer and it's not like you can put a finger on her technique, however, as it is symptomatic for the album in general, she doesn't really impress particularly either. Her delivery is so safe and boring that I wonder why the other half of the band, Solon Bixler, isn't allowed to sing more often like he does on "Stop". His singing is simply infinitely more soulful.

This is not the case though, so instead I've been searching in vain for something to like in this album's song upon song of bland, slow, safe, pop. It's like listening to Keane, except with a chick singer and everyone drugged up on sedatives. It's the very embodiment of an album that's dead on average. It's solid craftsmanship, and sure you can like it while you listen to it, but given how much it takes on the character of background music, it will leave you with next to nothing to remember it by. You would basically have to be among the people who find Coldplay to portray the heights of emotion and composition in music to become a fan. And I don't think many of our readers are of that opinion, so to them, this will sound too much like something that could be played in their local mall.

5

Download: Snakes, Houses, Stop
For The Fans Of: Keane, The Cardigans, The Arcade Fire
Listen: myspace.com/greatnorthern

Release Date 28.04.2009
Eenie Meenie Records

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