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Tearwave - Different Shade of Beauty Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 6.75
Lyrics 7.75
Production 9
Creativity 6.75
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 77%
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Tearwave - Different Shade of Beauty

Reviewed by: Susan Frances (10/12/08)
Tearwave - Different Shade of Beauty
Record Label: Projekt Records
Release Date: July 29, 2008

Swatches of sophisticated ambient swirls and prog rock jettisons roped in lounging windmill rolling rhythms is a huge chunk of Different Shade of Beauty, the new CD from Tearwave. The Buffalo, New York outfit has delicate sensibilities relatable to Coldplay and dreamy soundscapes that construct sonic pathways lined by castles with spires shooting up to the sky and turrets that feel like they go on forever with the flesh of shiny sheets of ice. It is music that listeners can escape into, like a virtual world that places no stress on your shoulders and no conflicts in your path.

Tracks like “Shattered Fairytale,” “Holding On,” and “Nothing’s Wrong” have tubes of celestial sounding effects and resonating crystal-stained glitters. A heavier storm rides in through “Reflection” and “Falling from Grace,” but the band never ceases to please the listener’s sensory system. The vocals of Jennifer Manganiello seem weightless as she glides effortlessly across the softly dimpled swells of drummer John Stephanski and bassist Joey Villella, while keyboardist/guitarist Doug White constructs the glacier formations and the aquiline angles and delicately twinkling chimes. The spokes in the melodic treads of “Can’t Go Home” dig in with a firm stake as Manganiello’s vocals move malleably over the jettisons. Sonic dewdrops move around Manganiello’s vocals in “Claiming Life” trickling with a fine-point penmanship sinking into the melody and darkening the mood, which then slip into the haunting “Under the Milky Way” as acoustic guitar shadows traipse eerily along the synth textured sheets.

Though the ethereal tones and ambient-filled soundscapes can become repetitive, Tearwave move out of those ruts by turning their sound prisms a new way and changing the luster of their chords. The differences are subtle but able to make the songs intriguing. Manganiello’s angelic voicing resounds beautifully through the acoustic guitar caves formed along “Ripped Apart” as she sings, “This is your trial / Make or break this time / Turn the page / And rewrite your story / Let it go / Make the sacrifice / Change the wind / In your direction.” Their lyrics show this recurring theme of letting go of the past viewing it as wasted time and taking part in the present. The music drifts at the speed of ocean waves rolling in the middle of the sea. The Asian-toned strings of “Forgettable Name” are manacled by stormy effects and softly booming rapids while Manganiello’s vocals seem unaffected by the melodic mayhem holding steady through the haunting echoes of “Question” and “72 BPM.”

With 17 tracks on the album, it’s a lot of music with much of it reminiscent of ‘90s shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and the Cocteau Twins. But like Tearwave’s lyrical themes suggest, they direct their radar towards the present. It is music that you can imagine belongs to the underworld, making sounds from kegs of liquid nitrogen converting gas into billowing clouds of smoke. Its pleasing flesh of ice is cooling on the senses and makes for a desirable sanctuary.

Recommended if you like: Cocteau Twins, Coldplay, Dream Aria, Monsters are Waiting


www.myspace.com/tearwave
 
Displaying posts 1 - 3 of 3.
01:44 AM on 10/13/08
#2
mogwaifearsatan
feels good man
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i'm sorry susan, but the only thing i learn after reading any of your reviews is that you obviously use the thesaurus feature in microsoft word way too much, smoke too much pot, or some mixture of the two.
05:57 PM on 10/15/08
#3
tennispunk21
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That was a really really good review.......it was a joke wasn't it?
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