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The Life Force Trio

Living Room

(Plug Research; US: 22 Aug 2006; UK: Available as import)

The Life Force Trio is the lifeblood of one Carlos Nino and some of his like-minded jazz / funk / fusion / pop comrades. And as a result, this EP goes all over the musical map. “Coliseum” isn’t a grand, epic anthem, but rather an experimental walk through jazz, mixed with ambient accents. From there, “Space Flowers / Carousel” is cinematic and melancholic, while at times an ethereal piece that seems a tad curt. Meanwhile, fans of the circus would find the merry-go-round melody of the aptly titled second portion to their liking. The group however tries to create mood music which is a hit and miss affair ... the miss being the video game blips and bleeps that seem to diminish the overall effort of “Starship”. Perhaps the highlight of the album is a medley of three tracks entitled “Blue Line, Watts Bound / The Shadows Took Shape / Soul Mates, Like Thunder and Lightning”. The first portion has a minimal feel with some hauntingly eerie effects within, sounding like it was culled from a ‘70s murder mystery film. Part two is a mellow, quasi-romantic instrumental along the lines of ‘70s Barry White soul, and the coda is a slightly up-tempo, funkier revision of the middle section. “Luminous” is the album’s other shining moment, a soft and hushed track sounding like Moby, if he ended his days playing in some hotel lounge.

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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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