Statistics - Leave Your Name
(Jade Tree Records)
3 (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 9, 2004
Review by Tony BonyataSpawning from the Saddle Creek Records band the Desaparecidos, comes guitarist / vocalist Denver Dalley's latest side project known as the Statistics. On his debut album, Leave Your Name, this Omaha, Nebraska native turns in a remarkably truncated album (clocking in at just under half-an-hour), but in that short period of time he also delivers songs filled with both soaring spirit and melancholic ambience, not to mention spacey Moog synthesizers, buzzsaw guitars and songs with a lyrical bite, such as the opener "Sing A Song," which points a finger at lazy music critics grasping for easy comparisons.
Sure he may borrow elements and attitudes from The Smashing Pumpkins, Guided By Voices, The Pixies and Brian Eno....[whoops, sorry Denver, guess I'll take my feet off the desk now], but he also has a knack of delivering them all in such a way that it sounds as if they were his all along.
While numbers such as "Mr. Nathan," "Sing A Song," and "Reminisce" are all passionately played out - with dynamics that change from pensive to explosive on a dime - one of the problems that undermines Leave Your Name is that many of actual compositions fall a little short in the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth department. As enjoyable as these and other more subtle numbers, such as "Circular Memories," "The Grass Is Always Greener" and "2 A.M.," are while listening to them, the fact is they just don't have the staying power they probably deserve once the disc has ended.
The end result here is that, despite offering a brand of electronic pop rock performed from the heart, Dalley's own, often dreamy, compositions are just a little too sleepy for their own good. Fortunately, however, there's just enough heart beating through to give further hope to a stronger follow-up.
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