| Artist: In-A-Sense|
CD Title: Seclusion
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
In-A-Sense, a duo comprised of programmer John Sepulveda and singer Steve Ferraro, have accomplished a significant feat with their debut album by putting together over seventy minutes of music that pays homage to classic synthpop bands without shamelessly ripping them off. “Devotion,” for example, throws some New Wave knob twiddling over a thumping four-on-the-floor drum machine rhythm, and the primitive but forceful analog bass line of “Former Self” is reminiscent of catchy minimalist acts such as the underrated Trans-X. The songs that can be compared to synthpop mainstays are inspired by the earliest work of New Order, as evidenced by the bass line in “Why,” or Depeche Mode when Vince Clark was still in the band, as exemplified by the upbeat bouncing keyboards of “Will You Be There Sometimes?” and “Passion In Your Eyes.” There are a few areas that could use some polish, though. For one thing, Ferraro’s vocal approach is reminiscent of the “Dave Gahan goes to the opera” style made famous by Soil and Eclipse’s Jay Tye, but without the same depth or range; songs like “Seclusion,” with its multiple vocal tracks, and “Beautiful Girl,” which features guest backing singer Anna Sepulveda, are the band’s best. With over an hour of original tracks, the album does begin to feel formulaic; most of the songs feature a simple high-BPM beat with some analog keyboards and vocals mixed over the top, and a little more variety would’ve been nice. Still, the entire album is well done, and as a bonus there are four remixes, the best being GASR’s dark electro mix of “Ultimate Sacrifice,” which adds depth and atmosphere to the original with more intricate rhythms and an undercurrent of distorted guitar. Despite a few things in need of a little improvement, In-A-Sense have created a promising first effort, and synthpop fans should definitely check this one out.
Visit Sepulveda and Ferraro online at www.in-a-sense.com.
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