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Teletextile: Care Package

Alternative pop - with loose influences from the Kate Bush / Tori Amos / Bjork school of damn-the-conventions artistry. But not as progressive as those artists - Care Package is imaginative, unconstrained by convention, and somewhat song-oriented. And oddly - it gets better as the record progresses.

Opening track "Come To Bed" is less suggestive than its title suggests - and is probably the most approachable piece on the CD, with the vocals dominating almost every bar, leaving little space for the instrumentation to flourish - which is a pity because the simple but clean piano and keyboard lines and the occasional wisps of violin are quite pleasing. Think Kate Bush on Valium.

It gets more interesting toward the latter half - and it's interesting to note that many songs seem to be matched pairs:

Take "Ampm Three" and "Ampm Two", for example. "Three" is a spacey, ambient, drone-rock kind of thing that does nothing and goes nowhere for 3 minutes and might remind you of the noises in your head after a heavy night on the town. "Two" starts with an awful synth-pop rhythm, then develops into a simple vocal-oriented piece with straightforward lyrics and slightly chaotic instrumentals with violin and cello lines weaving their way into some sections.

Then there's "Safer One" and "Safer Two", clearly the standout pieces on the record, and loosely based on the same theme. "One" is an all-instrumental, nicely layered piece with pleasing piano, keys and harp melodies that build a slow, lazy crescendo before gradually easing off and morphing seamlessly into "Two" - which is a soft love song, vocal-dominated, but with the pianist's bass notes dictating the pace.

Another matched pair is "Bicycle Bell", a 1-minute somnolent collection of random gongs punctuated by a bicycle bell - nice ideas that aren't developed.  It morphs into "Formless Scientific", with its straightforward vocal melody sung over dark instrumentation dominated by a staccato motif.

There's one of those damned annoying 4 minutes of silence before closer "The Color Blue", an almost minimalist piano piece played without an enormous display of musicianship, though it lays down a pleasing, sleepy little lullaby.

Teletextile is a reincarnation of the Pamela Martinez Band that played the New England circuit, where Martinez studied at Berklee. Care Package's 11 songs slip by in 45 minutes - which is just short enough to keep your interest. Any more would have been too much.

Track listing:
1. Come to Bed
2.. Gesso
3. Heartquake
4. Bicycle Bell
5. Formless Scientific
6. Ampm Three
7. Ampm Two
8. Safer One
9. Safer Two
10..
11.The Color Blue
 

Added: August 22nd 2007
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 1718
Language: english

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