Written by: HES on 07/01/2013 16:38:46

It’s always a bad sign when you listen to an album and only one word comes to mind. When the word is “overproduced” things go from bad to worse. And that’s unfortunately what comes to mind when listening to “Illuminate”. But don’t think it’s because this writer does not care for pop punk. Bands like Jimmy Eat World, New Found Glory and Paramore have set the standards way high. When Destine themselves have shared stages with mastodons like All Time Low – your expectations are already up.

The soundscape on Illuminate is at best uninteresting. Everything feels like it’s been boiled down, polished and sent through a magical machine that removes every quirk or personality. Robin van Loenen’s voice lacks expression and the lyrics generally go in one ear and out the other, unable to in any way catch my attention. The bassline is pronounced through-out the production, but horribly generic. It seems like the only risk that has been taken on the album – and it’s not a success. Hubrecht Eversdijk’s guitar is actually one of the better components, but it never gets any leeway to impress or do something out of the ordinary.

Many pop punk bands have been successful in creating a sound universe concentrated around the eclectic front figure. Fall Out Boy has Pete Wentz, Motion City Soundtrack has Justin Pierre and Jimmy Eat World has Jim Adkins. It seems like this is kind of the musical backing Destine has tried to build around Robin van Loenen. The album is produced by David Bendeth and James Paul Wisner who both have worked with band constellations like the before mentioned (Paramore and Hayley Williams for an example). But Loenen’s voice is simply not distinct enough to carry an entire album.

If I really want to see the good in this album, I’ll mention the single “Stay” which is okay. After a couple of listens I also grew fonder of the opening number “Four Leaf Clover” and “The Awakening”. I can’t neglect to mention the feeling that some of the tracks actually could have been something, if you had listened to them out of context. Some of them might even work on soft rock radio channels. But these tracks get lost when every song is mixed into the same generic soup. I’d actually recommend you to stick to Destine’s first album “Lightspeed” that actually has a grain of personality.


Download: Stay, Four Leaf Clover, The Awakening
For The Fans Of: All Time Low, New Found Glory, Paramore

Release Date 26.03.2012
Rude Records

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