steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Mr. Meeble

"Never Trust the Chinese" CD


Genre: pop, electro-pop, trip-hop

Paris, France

Feb 10, 2009

The pristine electro-pop of Never Trust the Chinese's opening track, "Fine," is both the pinnacle of this album and one of the finest songs I've heard in awhile. The digitally modulated vocals mesh perfectly with the slick, airy instrumentation - lending the track a rare beauty that's matched by hooks that will require a drill to get out of your head. The funky upright bass bounce of "Raindrops," a modernized rendition of "Raindrops Keep Felling on my Head," maintains the appeal in a loungey mode.

But from there on, things drop off. It isn't that the rest of Never Trust the Chinese is bad; it's just a little inconsistent, and not as fantastic as the first two tracks. There are still several strong moments - the Air-esque keys and soulful vocals of "Dragonfly" are simply sublime, and lush "100 Pills" is irresistibly pretty. However, other songs have certain strongpoints but would have overall been better left off the album. "A Ton of Bricks," for example, has a decent trip-hop rhythm/chord progression but goes on too long and becomes too brashly loud to maintain listenability. Also bland are plodding "It All Came to Pass" and glitchy "Cultivation of the Imagination." As a result, Never Trust the Chinese is occasionally great, often good, though somewhat inconsistent.

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Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by CD Baby, released 2008]