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Soft Complex

Barcelona

(Silver Three Recordings; US: 17 Oct 2006; UK: Available as import)

This “supergroup” of bands from Washington, DC, brings to mind a rather tame version of New Order with “Barcelona”, twisting and winding the melody around a timeless alternative-rock-meets-dance-rock feeling. And it’s a very well-executed song, despite having just a good, not great, hook. From there, the band take things down a notch with “Sad Note”, a strong synth-tinged ditty that sounds like it came from Morrissey’s and Marr’s songbook. And “Beat the Chill” also has some great moments that conjure up images of Jim Kerr in Simple Minds’ heyday. However, these are the highlights. The remaining five songs are simply remixed versions of these three tracks. One would think a “supergroup” would be able to not rely so much on hokey remixes and more on original material. “Barcelona (Brooks Harlan Remix)” basically emasculates the original number. “Sad Note (A Study in Her Remix)” fares better, resembling something that Stars or Torquil Campbell’s side project Memphis would consider performing.

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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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