Deliberate's musical mission of sorts is to return synthpop to something more narrative than the club-friendly but conceptually shallow stuff that comprises today's electroclash scene. It's a given, then, that lyrics are the high point on this EP. "Kensington Heights," for example, is a tale of relationships gone awry, and the sly "Gavin Has Some Problems" layers a spoken-word tale of paranoia and Orwellian surveillance over moody programmed rhythms. While the storytelling is compelling, the music offers little excitement; while it does its job in service of the vocals, instrumental track "Volunteer" draws undo attention to the band's weak points with its tinny drum machine plodding and fake turntable scratching. It makes you wonder why they included it at all, if their interests lie in exploring pop music's narrative potential. That track aside, this is good stuff, very much in the tradition of such dark but wry synthpop ballads like Depeche Mode's "Blasphemous Rumours," and if you're more interested in synthpop for its lyrical explorations than its dance floor potential, you'd do well to check this band out.
Visit Deliberate on MySpace at www.myspace.com/deliberatepop.
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