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Rockin' Our Turntable: Revolver

By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 27, 2010 3:20PM

revolver_mfaw.jpg Sometimes making music can be much like making a great culinary dish. You have the ingredients, you decide on the quantities to use, the quality of products to place in the dish, and all of this results in the essential decision on how finished or high-end the result will be. Sometimes you want something on the higher end of the spectrum like fougeres and then there are times you are just happy eating something easy and no-frills but delicious like hamburger helper. Yeah, there is a lot in-between the two, but as much can be said for each end of the scale.

Revolver, a band named for, and ridiculously influenced by The Beatles album of the same name, would probably be more of a duck a l'orange than a street taco. And their album Music For A While reflects that comparison. The problem is, although all the essential ingredients for a classic dish are present, nothing really makes you want to eat it.

Yes, the production is amazing. Yes the vocals are sweet without being syrupy. Yes, the arrangements are well thought out, there is just one problem: it's bland. No spice, no kick, nothing that draws you into it and makes you hunger for more. The music from this French three-piece has all the elements that go into making a great record, its just missing something. Perhaps it's that it is really derivative, perhaps its that it is, well, just too nice. There's no bite on this LP at all. We agree, sometimes we also get a hankering for something that is pleasant and laid-back, a-la Kings of Convenience or Jose Gonzales, but this is something different all-together.

Most songs on the album have a direct resemblance to Paul McCartney's more kitschy 30s-style songs like "When I'm 64" with a more updated production value and excessively layered tracks and vocal harmonies in general. Yes, there is nothing wrong with pulling from one of the most important and influential bands in the history of rock n' roll, but there is nothing even remotely original to be had here. Like-minded bands such as Apples in Stereo and Of Montreal have taken essential components from their Beatle-y influence and have updated them and truly made them their own by putting their spin on it. This album draws on the same catalog of sounds, but has nothing new nor exciting to say. It's a large, unseasoned, tasteless self-indulgent piece that probably doesn't even warrant a second listen.