Alternative music reviews

June 9, 2005

Missing The Action by Beach

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Following sharply on the heels of the catchy and highly addictive ‘Burning Up’ single, the accompanying album from Beach is surprisingly lacklustre. The retro blend of Roxy Music maturity and dated compressed guitars don’t travel well over twelve tracks, even during the choruses, choosing the middle ground. What’s most frustrating is the undeniable potential these songs have; there are some decent sing-along moments – ‘Slipping Away’ is a Depeche Mode call-to-arms but the hackneyed lyrics of “We’ve got something that’s special, but it’s slowly slipping away” is a cliché written by countless artists before. Beach only has one tone in his voice, rarely changing vocal key or showing any depth of emotion, even when the song demands a big delivery during the rockier moments, take ‘Revolution’ which lacks the killer punch it threatens.

Tossing out the same AOR rehashes dressed up in modern production, Beach lacks charisma to give the songs any individuality. When the single ‘Burning Up’ appears half-way through, it sticks out like a sore thumb, a diamond amongst the rough. The vocal delivery is still flat, but the chorus is so strong it would not matter who sang it. The tracks surrounding the single are inoffensive, passing by without leaving a strong impression, only album closer ‘Valium’ injects fresh ideas. One of the few times when the electronic beats are incorporated well in the soft-rock, ‘Valium’ is full of atmosphere, Beach actually putting effort into getting out the rut. Also, ‘Cops And Robbers’ succeeds in the chorus department, although the verses are forgettable. You’d imagine Beach playing the song on a television show to an appreciative audience who would enjoy the song whilst it played, then immediately forgetting it afterwards.

Don’t get me wrong, ‘Missing The Action’ is toe-tapping catchy and has plenty of sophistication, nothing here is remotely bad. It’s just that Beach plays retro eighties rock without much in the way of passion, the songs being two-dimensional and emotionally empty.

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Review by Nick Collings

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