Volume 94, Issue 4
Friday, June 9, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Weekend debut sets off the Sirens
On "Misery," a cut from Sirens' latest release Smilin', Donna Creighton, Nora Galloway and Jo-Ann Lawton sing, "Please, please, please, put me out of this misery." Listeners of this album will have similar thoughts throughout much of this 14 track compact disc.
Smilin' is a little bit country, a little bit Celtic and a lot like something your mother might enjoy. Although the London-based Sirens have wonderful voices, the overall tone of Smilin' sounds more like a children's recording, than a proper folk release.
Despite the lighthearted tone of much of Smilin', the Sirens' lyrics are intensely personal, dealing with a range of issues, including aging parents ("Em's Song" and "Good Son Good Daughter"), teenage pregnancy ("Rocking") and bad relationships (virtually every remaining song on the CD). Unfortunately, this seriousness is frequently undermined by overwhelmingly Raffi-like rhythms and overly cute lyrics.
The vocals on Smilin' are accompanied by an eclectic variety of instruments. The union of vocals and instruments is most successful on the last three tracks; "Good Son, Good Daughter," "Rocking" and "Lure of Lorelei." Only here do the trio begin to sound like real folk artists. However, it's just too late.
Simply stated, this album isn't very good. Readers would be well advised to avoid it, unless you're looking for a really late Mother's Day present.
teenage usa recordings
From the opening chords of its lead track, The Weekend's self-titled debut is a catchy, confident album, at times reminiscent of early Veruca Salt.
The Weekend are a smart young band, bursting with energy and flavourful bubblegum power-pop. The ten tracks on this album are well-written and mature, lending it a feel that seems far beyond the possibilities of a band's first record.
Standout tracks include the honest, pop-tinged, "What I Die For", the bass-heavy, "Fleetwood", and the quick, clever, "High School America". The closing track, "Heard It On The Radio," is also noteworthy, with its line, "Now forgive me for wanting everything candlelit/Right me off because I gave a shit/Don't you worry I'll get over it".
Clearly, the strength of this album rests upon the band itself. The album is ripe with solid musicianship, particularly the clean and crisp vocals of Andrea Wasse and the clever synthesizers, played by Lincon Cushman.
To their advantage, The Weekend have a great sound and smart lyrics upon which they will surely build with further releases. If this record is any sign, perhaps The Weekend will be a long one.
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