Monday, 22nd January 2018. 9:16:01pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Conjure One- Extraordinary Ways

 


Artist:Conjure One
CD Title:Extraordinary Ways
Label: Nettwerk
Reviewer:Matthew Johnson
Date: 12-4-05

 

Conjure One is the solo project of Rhys Fulber, who is best known for his work as a member of Front Line Assembly and Delerium. Like Delerium’s most popular albums, Conjure One’s second release brings in a slew of guest singers to add memorable hooks to mellow electronics, but where Delerium sampled various types of tribal and Mediterranean music to create a pan-global sound, on this album Fulber sticks with a more limited pop palette of strummed guitars, pianos and string pads. This actually works best on the instrumental selections; “Pilgrimage” is a slow mood piece, starting off with gently sweeping pianos before a laid-back trip-hop rhythm kicks in, while the excellent “Beyond Being” combines an electric guitar with such symphonic elements as flute and violin. “Dying Light” comes closest to the sound of Delerium; though it’s not technically an instrumental, there are no English lyrics, and the voices dance among loops of Middle Eastern music. The vocal pieces are more of a mixed back. “One Word” starts off wispy but gains a bit of heft from the layered vocals and strings during the chorus; it’s definitely the kind of thing that Beth Orton fans would enjoy. “I Believe” fares rather more poorly. With reedy male vocals delivered in an insufferable singsong, it’s the sort of hipster tripe people used to refer derisively to as “college rock.” The album’s title track, “Extraordinary Way,” is better. It starts out insubstantial – the sort of female-fronted piano pop you might expect at the Lilith Fair in the late ‘90s – but builds in layers to a captivating richness. Still, there are as many misses as hits on this album, and fans of Fulber’s other stuff might find this too much on the twee side. On the other hand, this should give his biggest fans something to snack on until the new Front Line Assembly and Delerium albums come out in 2006.

Visit Fulber on the Web at www.conjureone.com.


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