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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Some Kind Of Strange CD Cover
Image © Noiseplus Music 2003

Chasing The Ghost CD Cover
Image © Noiseplus Music 2000

(05 April 2003) The latest offering from California's Collide is an eleven track album entitled Some Kind Of Strange (Noiseplus Music (USA) Noise 002, 2003). Fronted by their stunning female vocalist kaRIN, her collaborator Statik is responsible for the instrumental arrangements. A bevy of guest artists contribute percussion, acoustic and electric guitar on various tracks. The band's website is loaded with further information, soundbites, photos and additional features.

Some will recall that kaRIN provided some of the original vocal work for the early Balligomingo demos but she did not contribute to the finished Beneath The Surface (review) project. Collide's previous album Chasing The Ghost drew significant critical acclaim. Suffice it to say that Some Kind Of Strange has taken a significant step forward both in vocal work and arrangements. Make no mistake--this is a female vocals album clearly cast between gothic and electronica; it is certain to appeal to Balligomingo and Delerium enthusiasts!

Some Kind Of Strange blends gothic textures with electronica and powerful percussion right from the start in "Crushed." Layers kaRIN's sultry vocals are mixed well above the arrangements. "Euphoria" is a more accessible tune--lush keyboards and guitars compliment sweetly soaring heavenly style vocals while powerful instrumentals and sensual vocal textures dominate "Modify." The album builds to "Somewhere" a richly arranged Balligomingo-style tune with several tempo and mood swings that is dominated by kaRIN's soaring and evocative vocals.

Equally interesting is "Slither Thing," a slow and richly arranged number crossing boundaries between a slow dance- and jazz-style number. The tempo drops further with "Inside" an electronic ballad; layers of kaRIN's sensually shimmering vocals are mixed to new heights with instrumental arrangements being pushed right to the back. The electric guitar parts and backing harmonies are as notable. "Mutation" is a heavy track outside the acoustic guitar-based chorus. The sharp contrastbetween the various passages--ending in rain--is simply incredible.

The album's standout track is clearly "Tempted." kaRIN's evocative opening leads into a lush symphonic-styled tune and remarkable guitar-backed chorus with tremendously accessible multi-layered vocal harmonies. Balligomingo enthusiasts will agree this track has single potential!"Shimmer" continues in a similar vein albeit at a slower-- electronic ballad--tempo. The band's gothic orientation emerges in "Complicated," a complex and thickly arranged upbeat number with plenty of vocal layering as well. Slow and raunchily electronic in arrangement, the multi-layered vocal harmony of "So Long" concludes the album.

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.comhere. A major step forward for Collide, this album should be explored further. Clearly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, it is a must listen!

Chasing The Ghost is Collide's previous release (Noiseplus Music (USA) Noise 001, 2000). Comprised of ten tracks with electronic and gothic orientation, visitors should visit band's official website or their mp3.com website and have a quick listen to check out the material. We were fortunate enough to discover Collide some time ago, through an introduction by Kristy Thirsk (feature).

While every track on this album is good, other reviewers felt that the project falls short of the pure brilliance that is displayed in the latest album Some Kind of Strange. The arrangements on the album are absolutely superb balancing vocals against lush keyboards and guitar textures.

kaRIN's vocal work on this album, however, is at times heavily processed unlike the latest release. A clear standout track is Collide's cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." Listeners will certainly hear the foundation for the band's latest project Some Kind Of Strange in the vocal and instrumental arrangements.

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.comhere. A major step forward for Collide, this album should be explored further. Clearly worth a journey, it is a very nice listen!

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