Karmacoda: Eternal (Sola Musa Music)

Karmacoda

Reviewed by Eric Saeger

This column offers safe haven for all trip-hop comers, even this debatable effort from the stubbornly DIY San Fran threesome. Obviously the fetish is there, being that they kinda-sorta named the band after a Massive Attack tune, so points for fanboyism get chalked up from the get-go. But the electronics are really thin, no bleeps or cavitation or even (despite the annoyingly omnipresent slow-breakbeats and the band’s professed interest in the genre) D’n’B attributes. Drilling down, far from being trip-hop, ‘Into Each Life’ is Mohegan Sun-getaway lounge patter in which Heather Pierce comes off like a Gen Y soccer mom doing a Justin Bieber chilldown. Matter of fact, you know what a lot of this stuff reminds me of, right, is when Gwyneth Paltrow sang with Huey Lewis, and, gahh, kickoff song ‘If You Give It To Me’ is like a toned-down version of Roxette’s ‘She’s Got the Look’. I know, I’m being mean and rotten to this (nicely produced and actually quite pretty at times) album, but there’s a point to my bringing this up, that being a lesson in marketing for DIY bands without major label support. See, pay attention for a second, this could actually be accepted in different circles, like if they dressed the chick in nothing but a few strategically placed pieces of torn cardboard and peddled it to the acid jazz contingent . Cripes, I should offer this as a service and just take the money – my God WTF is wrong with me?

Grade: B-

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