School of Seven Bells | Ghostory

Vagrant (2012)  
By REYAN ALI  |  February 21, 2012
1.5 1.5 Stars

To enter School of Seven Bells' world, you have to share their refined sense of beauty. The Brooklyn dream/dance-pop duo sandpaper any rough edges of their aesthetic: melodies feel stylish and manicured, the production is as ineffably crisp as a big-budget major-label release, song structures lean toward the staid, and Alejandra Deheza's vocals are alluring in a way that rarely feels powerful or refreshing after more than one listen. There are no moments of genuine surprise and courage because SVIIB (brilliant choice of acroynym, by the way) never permit themselves enough breathing room in the high-gloss production. As a result, the band's third full-length sounds hollow and uninspired. It's populated by brethren of more dispassionate, familiar tunes like "Reappear" and "White Wind" than determined heavyweights such as "The Night" and "Scavenger." Most songs are mid-tempo and middle-of-the-road; nothing has the heft to wallop you — emotionally, musically, or otherwise. A bit of rawness or ugliness might have gone against SVIIB's principles, but it could have given this fatigued record a lift.

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS | Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | May 4 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $13 | 617.779.0140

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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS,  More more >
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