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Skytone

Shining Over You

(The Beautifulmusic; US: 2011)

Pleasantly forgettable Canadian power-pop

Skytone’s brand of pop-rock is good-natured and fun, if not particularly thrilling. Shining Over You‘s opening track, “We Are One”, kicks off with thumping rhythms and vocals that switch between arena-rock anthemics and Queen-like harmonies (not that those two things are mutually exclusive, of course). This is followed by several tracks of perfectly serviceable, if forgettable, power-pop-rock. The vocals lack any rough edges, as does the music, so there’s not much to hang onto. “One Fine Day,” “Working Class Lament” and “Rolling Stone” are all pleasant enough to listen to, and easily forgotten after they end. Only “Peace”, with its cynical lyrics sniping at Bono-style rock & roll do-gooders, really stands out—and maybe not for the right reasons. A hint of Caribbean rhythm sneaks in midway through the album, but it’s not enough to lend an identity to the record, or the band. There are an awful lot of bands out there, and Skytone needs to work harder to stand out.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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