If goodness comes in large amounts, then maybe it's little wonder that they rarely come, if indeed ever. Now Resist (click on this link to view my report) which I examined earlier this year was a solid maiden album from Kosheen, but that was twelve years ago and so far there's a modest discography the Bristollian trio have unleashed to the world. The three in question are remixers Markee Substance, Darren Decoder and Welsh singer Sian Evans but what they yet to attain in quantity they seem to make up in the albums department.
This fifth release Solitude has barely rolled off the pressing machine, so now's obviously the best time to review it. And once again Miss Evans applies her assured and subtle vocals to what is essentially an electronica album through and through, so my first thought is if there's any variety in the mix? Well, yes actually, even if first impressions don't feel wholly organic. Wikipedia in fact lists rock among the genres Kosheen employs and I have heard a number of unpluggable tunes but for today on this record, they're taking a rest from it and concentrating on the decks and enthused production.
First impressions of the album are pretty reasonable. Apologies if that seems inadvertently underselling, perhaps agreeable is a want of a better term. I've certainly enjoyed listening to 745, there's good usage of loops and some heavy almost natural low bass beats on Up In Flames although personally I think it's a great shame the tune is over just as it's stepping up a gear. In fact all the running beats on each track are completely separate from each other, so there's plenty to keep the sensory minded listener in check. However, the two tracks Divided, and Harder They Fall are what I would term as fillers and means to maintain the fluidity of the record.
More evidence of Sian and co. underselling themselves are in the song titles, for example I (they've obviously committed themselves to the least amount of lettering), a semi instrumental which at best is another one for the stocking as well as And Another, with a few keyboards to keep things ticking over nicely. Observation is the only breakbeat drum n' bass tune here and it's where it sets me in a late night lounge mood and despite its racy rhythm, it feels ideal to chill out, sit back on a bench and watch the world pass you by.
For an electronic piece, Solitude has a minimalistic feel and you won't find too many layers on it. The record ticks over fine albeit not with a great deal of urgency on it. But bearing on mind that this is hot on the heels of last year's release Independence the threesome obviously went through with this with the notion that they still have much more left in the tank. And judging from the number of tracks on Independence, then Kosheen aren't doing themselves any disservice to themselves or the avid listener. Hoping to review Independence very soon so watch this space.
7 out of ten. This is good and well worth a check.
Buy Solitude here on Amazon
Listen to the album here on Deezer
Official Kosheen Facebook page here
Official Kosheen Myspace page here