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Audrye Sessions – Audrye Sessions

aud-sessions

Audrye Sessions – Audrye Sessions (Black Seal Records; released February 17th, 2009)

Take one part U2, add one part Muse, add a dash of Coldplay, shake vigorously. The result is Audrye Sessions‘ self-titled debut album.

While the members of the band and their record label may claim a victory by drawing those comparisons; I’d say it’s more of an insult. Because it would only be a compliment if I was saying that U2 was still good; or even relevant (and they haven’t been for almost two decades), Muse had any talent (or was liked by anyone outside of the U.K.) and I think the readers of this website know where I stand on Coldplay (and adult contemporary artists in general). Audrye Sessions are from Oakland, California, so god help me if I run into them on the street- this review is going to be bad. Very bad.

I don’t know where to begin- I can explain why I don’t like it first, then try to find something good about the record. Maybe the good news first; the production values are really nice- a song like Where You’ll Find Me benefits greatly from the excellent knob tweaking, volume boosts and orchestral string parts. But it’s easy to hide the fact that there’s an ugly girl under that pretty prom dress. You can’t hide behind sizzling production by dressing your songs up in an expensive ball gown.

This album is so ready for the VH1 set that it’s not even funny. This is like a bad nightmare, set in a coffeehouse where a bunch of thirty-something former frat boys and the sorority girls they married bring their kids via Volvo station-wagon to see their buddy’s band; and this is the band. The closest thing to that nightmare I’ve ever experienced is sort of like watching that show Gilmore Girls– there was this one an ex-girlfriend made me watch; and at the end of the episode this band plays in that nightmare coffeehouse, the mom on the show (the hot-but-annoying chick) was banging the lead singer or something, I don’t remember (it doesn’t matter). Anyway; this is that fucking band.

The album opens with the unimpressive Turn Me Off– I wish I took your advice, because there’s another 45 minutes to go of this. Perfect, Sometimes may have been an actual U2 song at one point- maybe it was left off that awesome record about nuclear bombs. I should stop writing now, my mom told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say about something to just keep my mouth shut. Maybe I should just take the address off the front of my house so the mailman can’t deliver crappy albums to my house anymore…

A lot of this record seems out of place- the dirty guitar sound on Nothing Pure Can Stay seems really forced. This is the Muse influence showing up in Audrye Sessions, washed out with creepy atmospheric synths and screamy vocals. This is an album that struggles to find itself- is it pop? Is it rock? I’ve already spent too much time listening to it. I mean, there’s an M Ward album coming out tomorrow, a new Abe Vigoda EP to write about…

…and I actually took time away from finishing my review of the new Morrissey record to listen to this- I could’ve just went to Starbucks and sat there for an hour; whatever they’re playing in there is just as bad as this.

Tracklisting:

1. Turn Me Off

2. Perfect, Sometimes

3. Julianna

4. Relentless

5. The Paper Face

6. Awake

7. New Year’s Day

8. Where You’ll Find Me

9. Nothing Pure Can Stay

10. She Had To Leave

11. The Crows Came In

12. Dust And Bones

Albums like this make me not want to write about music anymore, but please; judge for yourself:

Audrye Sessions