Belle Da Gama: Garden Abstract

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By Ben Varkentine

You know what I need to hear? An album of strong popcraft. Something with beautiful music, produced by someone with a sure hand. Someone who knows how to write songs that stand up for themselves separated from the noise we all make when we learn to make noise. Something with a rhythm, to be sure—something that drives. But something that sounds thoughtful, considered. Like the person playing it has actually lived a few years instead of seeing a bunch of movies and getting drunk every night. I need to hear music that is capable of becoming the soundtrack for my life.

What kind of music it is isn’t that important. The instruments it’s played on aren’t that important. It just needs to be something new . . . yet recognizable. It needn’t be tame, it just needs to stay with me. It needn’t be clever, though that never hurts, if it moves me. It needn’t be serious and smart (though, again . . .). It could just be funny and easy and sexy. It could be exciting or it could be poetic. It could make me want to free my mind or my ass. It just needs to be elemental. It needs to be able to break it down and then stop and build it back up again. And when it’s over, it needs to make me feel as though I’m at the completion of something important.

I stand my ground that the above has been a review of Belle Da Gama’s Garden Abstract, on the grounds that Belle Da Gama’s Garden Abstract stands as none of the above.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/belladagama-garden/