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CD REVIEW: Ten West - Ten West
By Alex Jasperse - 01/05/2007 - 05:57 PM EST

Artist: Band: Ten West
Album: Ten West [2007]
CD Review: Artist: Ten West
Album: Ten West [2006]
Label: Blue Note Records
Website: www.tenwestmusic.com
Rating: 5.6/10

Thereís something sublime about an album that you can relax to. As much as I like the electronic realms of sound, and as relaxing as it is, thereís always something magical about an acoustic-driven music. Itís safe, comforting and light. You know whatís coming, because youíve heard it so many times before. Which makes me wonder: at what point does something comforting make you question it? I mean, is there a point were we should ask, isnít turning to the same thing kind of prosaic?

Well, yes and no.

Orange Countyís Ten West is safe, comforting acoustic-driven pop. And as I was wondering earlier, is it a bad thing to come across yet another clone of a clone in this genre? I guess it really depends on what youíre expecting.

Their self-titled release starts off well, with nice simple tunes like Better Ground and Another Chance that are designed to take away all your problems. But by the fifth song you begin to feel as though you are listening to the same old stuff. Itís good stuff, but really nothing more than sonic space Ďfillerí.

Ten West has taken one song, whichever one it is, and rehashed it at least 10 times throughout this release. The music is relaxing, but after a few songs in, itís sleep-inducing. The singing is uninspired, and doesnít have much meaning whatsoever when you consider that youíve heard these same unimaginative woes from every singer / songwriter for far too long. Relatable? Maybe, but nothing is innovative nor really that important to pay attention too Ė even with the fingerpicked Curtain Call.

The number one problem on this album is that none of the songs are distinctive Ėthey all, pretty much, sound the same. Not to mention, like many of their counterparts out there at the moment, particularly Stabilo and Dave Matthews. Each song feels like itís undeveloped, like they didnít evolve an idea into a truly complete song. As if it was the product of a difficult birth Ė possibly explaining why they turned to session keyboardist Ronnie King Ė who has worked with Coolio, Mariah Carey and 2Pac Ė for musical misdirection.

Alright, so back to before, this is safe music. So much so, that you could invite even your worst, most hated enemy over, and make them feel at ease. Peace treaties could be signed with this playing in the background. You and your grandma could both enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits and relax to it. Ok, maybe thatís a bit of an overkill, but itís that safe. Every line, chorus and guitar lick has been exhausted before, and well, itís definitely short of original to say the least. But hey, some people like charming regurgitated ideas.

For more information, please contact Ten West at tenwestmusic@gmail.com


The Verdict:

Originality: 5/10
Creativity: 5/10
Production: 7/10

Overall: 5.6/10



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