[12 February 2009]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Beneath the stuttering drum programs and busy production, Sleeping in Colors is relatively simple. It deals in the type of synth-emo originally popularized by Tears for Fears and Howard Jones. But those stop/start rhythms and ping-ponging synths are more an annoyance than a modern touch. And Conte’s voice is definitely an acquired taste, often veering close to camp/drama that recalls nothing so much as Queensrÿche. Conte does settle down on the last couple tracks. “Now That’s Sacred” melds a hip-hop rhythm and minor-key guitar dirge to black-mascara satisfaction, and “Carousel Waltz” recalls the adventurously enigmatic b-sides the Cure used to do. If Conte can maintain that control more consistently, he may be on to something.