Rainbow Arabia – Boys and Diamonds (Kompakt)

April 10, 2011 by  

Rainbow Arabia return with their latest offering Boys and Diamonds, which is a mix of electro and Eastern European elements. Awe inspiring or self indulgent?

The album starts off really well with the title track, Boys and Diamonds, with chants and tribal drumming bathed in atmospheric synths. Sounding like a retro collage of sounds of the jungle really takes the intrigue further. From the first song throughout, the formula stays pretty much the same. Which is what contributes to the album’s downfall. The initial idea on the song is good, but the way it is emulated constantly on every track makes for a bland listening experience.

However it’s not all bad. ‘Papai’, one of the best songs on the album, nails down the feel of mystery and tension and ‘Mechanical’, probably the best song on the album, is a pure slice of great pop music utilizing melodic vocals and has a child like innocence towards songwriting, which helps its appeal greatly. Sadly most of the album can be a drag to listen all the way through. Mid way through, you realise Rainbow Arabia are content on sticking well within their comfort zone and prefer not to take too many risks. As a result, the album attempts to be eclectic but within its own boundaries and comes off as more of a collage of sounds rather than a collection of fully functional songs.

Saying any of the songs on the album were terrible would be untrue and they actually provide enjoyment for brief periods. However, stretching this out throughout the album does not work it has to be said. Even the best songs on the album can be somewhat over looked because a lot of it blends into each other far too extensively. It also sounds like its attempting to be fun but ends up achieving the opposite. It is a melting pot of sounds, varying chants and effects but the phrase ‘less is more’ clearly has never come across them. They throw in everything but the kitchen sink here hoping it will meld together, but a lot of it sounds very random. ‘Hai’ is probably the worst song on the album and is nothing but a smattering of effects and chants, with no real centre pulling it all together. The MIDI bass used in the song is incredibly out of place and shows very poor decision making.

Boys and Diamonds should work, but sadly it is too complacent, relying too greatly on its textures and atmospherics without really providing anything memorable. The problem therefore is that the songs don’t really go anywhere. Choruses are pretty much non existent and and when there is a chorus it can grate on the ears. So it’s not the album it should have been but moments of it show they clearly have talent and our capable of much more. Hopefully their next album will make more of an impression but unfortunately, this is quite a self indulgent album.

[rating:2]


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