South | You Are Here (Bluhammock)

cd_south.jpgFor the most part, in fact, what was unique about Joel Cadbury’s voice seems buried in the mix here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been a fan of South since With the Tides back in 2003. For the uninitiated, South is a British trio who crafts infectious, mellow indie rock. A few of their songs are, in my opinion, classics, must-haves for any credible indie playlist. We caught the band twice at this year’s South by Southwest, once with their full-band set and once as an acoustic duo at Bluhammock’s brunch; the latter performance was most impressive, and had me once again singing their praises.

You Are Here, South’s first on Bluhammock, is their first in two years; especially after their stellar performances in Austin, I was very much looking forward to it. Admittedly, it’s garnered accolades since its pre-release—accolades which I, unfortunately, do not share.

I’ve given the disc a few listens and am sad to say that nothing stands out; nothing sticks with me. It’s good background music, sure, but nothing you’d play as the soundtrack to your life. Opener "Wasted" is a slow, meandering experiment in instrumentation; frontman Joel Cadbury’s voice is still smooth and soothing but not tested. For the most part, in fact, what was unique about Cadbury’s voice seems buried in the mix here.

Though the middle part of the album raises the tempo a bit, I still feel as though South has given me nothing to hold onto, nothing I can’t live without. As the band pushes forward, I find myself looking backward, pulling out With the Tides and 2006’s Adventures in the Underground Journey to the Stars to remember what it was I so liked about South. C | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: Elbow, Death Cab for Cutie

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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