Working as a keyboardist for Aimee Mann and Fiona Apple,
Jebin Bruni must have sensed a kindred spirit in singer Lauri Kranz’s spacey,
introspectively fragile voice. Thus, Snow & Voices was born in L.A. and a 2004 album was
released. Now, with the two writing (almost) all the songs and Bruni and
Darrell Thorp sharing production duties, comes a follow-up.
On first listen,
the record exudes a waftingly sweet, keyboard-tinged and drum-programmed
melancholy that seems exactly what the duo wants with its shades of Beth Orton,
Lamb and Portishead. But it’s too sweet; songs like “Hearts Were Meant to Be
Broken” and “Water” on repeated hearing are all prettiness with no bite. And
overall, the record sounds too New Agey, especially Bruni’s keyboards.
“Rainstorm” makes the most impact; it’s spare in both production and lyrical
imagery. Inexplicably, the album includes a trance cover of the Doors’ “Touch
Me,” a song best put to eternal rest anyway. It makes one wonder if Snow &
Voices has a real aesthetic or is just looking for a niche sound.
Standout Tracks: “Rainstorm,” “A Little Strange” STEVEN ROSEN