[27 April 2011]
PopMatters PopLocal Features Editor
Guilty Rainbow is a culminating step forward for Chicago’s Roommate, a singer-songwriter project that’s been in different stages of incubation since 2001’s promising if uneven Celebs EP. With his third full-length release, Kent Lambert, the man behind the words and music, has finally consolidated his band into a consistent four-piece, and Guilty Rainbow bears the marks of a more active level of cooperation among the contributors. Bassist Gillian Lisée, multi-instrumentalist Luther Rochester and drummer Seth Vanek add a welcome bit of musical muscle to Lambert’s understated vocals and forceful lyrics. Roommate has always been prone to overbearing imagery and aimless compositions. Guilty Rainbow falls prey to some of the same temptations, but on the whole, the new release finds Lambert cultivating his strengths—a no-frills delivery and fluid, organic verses that roll into one another with an easy inevitability. Highlights include the epic “Snow Globe”, the groovy “Ghost Pigeon”, and the jazzy “Soft Eyes”.