Volume 93, Issue 43

Tuesday, November 16, 1999


Messenger delivers the entire package

Anywhere But Here the place to go

Dutch bio loses votes

Curiosity Shop turn back the clock

Ideal and Plasticine's efforts soft and shapeless

Ideal and Plasticine's efforts soft and shapeless


It doesn't take much time to understand exactly where Plasticene's name came from. One usually associates plasticine with kindergarten and childhood. "Childish" is exactly the thought that comes to mind when listening to these Kitchener natives.

In keeping with the theme, Plasticine's lyrics could have been written by an average elementary school student. Their guitar progressions are comparable to those of a beginner learning power chords for the first time. Even worse, the drum fills are so bland, boring and primitive, they could put an insomniac to sleep.

While other bands consistently improve on their playing ability, it seems that Plasticine is content sounding like a junior high school garage band. Aside from musicianship, they lack several other important components required for a good album, such as variety, diversity and talent.

Lead singer Steve Strongman does a less than adequate job at the helm. "Something to Someone," which begins with him chanting for 30 seconds is a half minute which can be better spent brushing your teeth.

The band provides little background music for his vocals, which deters from the quality of their music as it brings Strongman's voice into the spotlight.

The songs "Old Again" and "Friend of a Friend" open with drum patterns which were probably taught to drummer Roger Travassos in his first few weeks of lessons. These songs offer absolutely no appeal – they're all dull, uninspired and lifeless.

If this is Plasticine's day job they should quit and go back to school – at least there, someone can appreciate their immaturity. All in all, this CD serves a better purpose as support for a wobbly table than for listening pleasure.

–Jared Rochwerg


With a name like Ideal, expectations for their album are automatically going to be high. While their self-titled debut won't completely disappoint these anticipations, the R&B foursome doesn't deliver all they could either.

Recently signed to open for TLC on the autumn leg of their U.S. Tour, members Swab, J'Dante, Maverick and PZ, form what they call every woman's fantasy. The group has a promising debut, but one with obvious weaknesses. The highlights on the album are often over-shadowed by the numerous sub-par and only slightly original songs, leaving the band shy of prime time air-play.

The intro to Ideal makes it too easy for the listener to stereotype the band as just another group of wannabe players stressed by heart breaking honeys. Luckily they make up for this over-done melancholic lamentation by following it up with the smooth acappella, "Ideally Yours."

Other notable tracks include good party songs such as "I Don't Mind You" and "Things You Can't Do," as well as their soon to be released single, "Creep Inn." The best cut on this less than meaty effort, however, has to be the first single, "Get Gone," a soulful male anthem of a sensitive man gone wrong.

The bulk of the CD's tracks lie in the mediocre category, with only a few truly satisfactory pieces to tie the listener over. Despite the few decent club tracks, it lacks a moving love ballad or bedroom bumper.

Whether this group needs more talent, better beats or simply moving lyrics, it is clear Ideal still has a ways to go towards becoming urban music kings.

–Joel Brown

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Copyright The Gazette 1999