Wednesday, December 13, 2006

La Rocca--The Truth (2006)

Artist-La Rocca
Album-The Truth
Release Date-Aug 8, 2006
Genre/Style-Indie Rock

Review-Irish indie-rockers La Rocca have plenty of great ideas on their debut full-length, but The Truth rarely coheres into a pleasing whole. First single "This Life" kicks off with a propulsive piano-and-synth hook that — no kidding — recalls some great old Electric Light Orchestra single or some similar bit of '70s AM pop, but singer Bjorn Baillie's voice strips away much of the tune's charm by the time the first chorus kicks in. Baillie has a perfectly nice voice overall, but his phrasing sounds distressingly influenced by fellow Irishmen Bono and Mike Scott of the Waterboys, as well as Simple Minds' Jim Kerr. This booming singing-to-the-rafters style, as on "Non-Believer" and the Queen-like pomp of the centerpiece ballad "Goodnight," is an odd, somewhat grating match for a band that at its best is closer to the unpretentious pop/rock of, say, Keane. Other songs add an alt-country tinge that blends with Nick Halworth's piano for a sound that suggests a modern rock updating of Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection, which works surprisingly well on the title track and "Eyes While Open." Baillie's irritating vocal tics still get in the way, but on the folky tunes, La Rocca sound more at home.


No comments: