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Burned, The: The Burned

As the solo moniker of Kurt Baumann, once known as Tzol from the band Kan'nal, The Burned might be expected to at least have retained some of the so-called Tribal elements that made his erstwhile band a little more interesting than its soft-rock peers. Those of optimistic dispositions may have even hope for more. Sadly for those who know and liked his former band, and even those who don't, The Burned's self-titled album has all the hallmarks of a lead vocalist's vanity project.

The music is generally slow: at best gentle, and at worst plodding. Guitars have fuzzy halos of soft-focus distortion, drums click with the metronomic predictability of a music video producer's dream, and the vocals have the all the breathy, plaintive earnestness that are supposed to make teenage girls swoon (allegedly). All of it is very completely played, but rarely with any sense of energy or inspiration.

Pink Floyd are mentioned in the album's propaganda, and "More Than I want" does sound a lot like "Goodbye Blue Sky", but the similarities here and elsewhere in the album are purely physical as if he has read the book of Floyd, picked up the technical details, but utterly missed any of the meaning contained therein. At times it sounds like it is aiming more towards Jeff Buckley's pyrotechnic crooning, but it lacks enough of the vocal drama and power to really match up.

If that sounds like a damning indictment, the reviewer has perhaps got a little carried away. The music is never truly bad, and at times it shows plenty of promise. "Monster" does have some shades of the paranoia, and is much more engaging for it; "Hard Lesson" is a sharp and well put together rock song, and the big chords and sweeping tone of "That's Life" are a genuinely enjoyable album highlight.

That said, the truth is that there isn't enough on the album with enough verve to be worthy of recommendation. It has its moments, but too much of it is too staid and too risk-averse to make a lasting positive impression.

Track Listing
1. Where Are We Now
2. Monster
3. What We Know
4. Hard Lesson
5. More Than I Want
6. Man Running
7. Listen
8. Now and Forever
9. Time
10. That's Life
11. Music in the Stars
12. Make Believe

Added: May 11th 2010
Reviewer: Richard Wheelhouse
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1843
Language: english

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