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Astronauts of Antiquity: Rocket Science for Dummies

This US band blends lounge jazz with the experimental electronics of a band like Portishead. The mysteriously named, India, the vocalist, has a beautiful delivery in the traditional jazz style and is very well matched with the tasteful, empathetic guitar of B. Rhyan. With contributions on organ, horns, sax and trumpet, the second track is a steamy song which rolls along like a ghost of New Orleans past. "Supa Soul" brings in tastes of dub and a floating dreamy atmosphere whilst keeping dancing feet firmly on the floor with handclaps and bass riff. "Rocket Science" is a jerky yet funky rhythm rolled out beneath a playful electronic and guitar accompaniment and bouncy vocals, crossing from jazz into trance and back with ease. For a band that started life in the alt/rock genre this is a remarkable achievement.

Things cool down toward the middle of the album with "Beautiful Fate", a soothing piece of light pop with Goldfrapp-like guitar and synth embellishments, whilst Miss Caroline is a delicate lament with India pushing all the goose bump levers with consummate perfection over a tastefully woven mix of strings, guitar and wind instruments, bookended by sampled news report and electronic effects. "Emo healing" shows India at her most smoky and beguiling although the rhythm itself is mid-paced and jaunty, featuring some fine wah-wah guitar from B. Rhyan.

"Breakthrough" is an exuberant optimistic song, delivered with aplomb once again by India who soars and sweeps down from ethereal whispering to gritty, sexual drama. The chilled out "Soup du jour" is a fine entrée for "Love is all around", which features sitar sounds and a heavy techno drum beat with backing vocals providing balance to India's spiralling voice. "Dance until dawn" evokes romantic sea-shores and love found on holiday in its sultry vibe, dancing flute and gently swaying beat. The bonus track adds a delightful mix of organ, sax and flute to an effervescent back-beat and, for once, India is overshadowed by the engaging instrumental arrangement which has served her so well throughout this sophisticated and superbly produced album.

Track Listing
1. Everywhere
2. Strangest places
3. Supa Soul
4. Rocket Science
5. Sweet tooth
6. Beautiful fate
7. Miss Caroline
8. Emo healing
9. Breakthrough
10. Soup du jour
11. Love is all around
12. Dance until dawn
13. Love is a mantra (bonus)

Added: December 1st 2009
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1717
Language: english

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