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Cassette

Beautiful California

(Honor Roll Music; US: 1 Mar 2007; UK: Unavailable)

This is the type of album where if you don’t like one song, give it 30 seconds and something else will come along. A 35-song effort that is 35 minutes in length results in something that is very odd, very short, and very interesting at times. Whether or not they are unfulfilled ideas is a point for inane debate, but Cassette does make the most of the opening “Fingernails” and ensuing “Ladybug”, which brings to mind Baby Dayliner with a short attention span. Although many of these clock in under a minute, a song like “Shadow” does shine with its subtle funky groove, as does the aptly titled “Swingin’ Hips”. Cassette also makes the most of an electronica-meets-ambient “Computer”. The first rowdy ditty is “Low Maintenance”, which has a garage rock quality, and this is revisited with “Spring Break (Fun in the Sun)”, which contains a healthy dose of emo. But the album has its strikes and misses, especially the winding and boring “June” and the unfocused “The Future”. Snippets can be good, but when they make up the bulk of an album, it’s often tedious for the listener. Other highlights are “Alright V.1” and “Alright V.2”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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