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Sirena

Cousteau

Release Date: 07.09.02
Record label: Palm Pictures
Genre(s): Rock

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Crooning to the Masses
by: clint poole


Crooner (kroon'ur) n. 1. one who sings softly and gently. 2. cheesy lounge act.


Lounge acts flourish in roadside bars because in a cocktail-induced, campy sense, they are entertaining at the moment. But remove them from these special circumstances where they belong and they seem intolerable, in the laughable - "I can't believe I'm listening to this" sense. Such is the case with Cousteau's Sirena.


Sirena is the follow up to the band's self-titled debut album - an album met with some critical acclaim in the UK, and is named after the band members' self-proclaimed unhealthy fascination with mermaids (sirena means mermaid in both Italian and Spanish). Yet, unlike the mermaid, this album is not a hidden gem for our discovery.


The album attempts an ethereal dedication to the mythical nautical goddesses, but fails to deliver a sound that effectively moves our collective souls. What listeners will find is stretched out vocals over rainy day melodies and love songs. Singer Liam McKahey's deep baritones are too abrasive for the soft orchestrated music he drowns song after song. On tracks such as "Heavy weather", the lyrics drags un-rhythmically slow, as if the music was already laid down and the band was hurriedly trying to create lyrics as it kept playing.


The album, however, does contain some wonderfully orchestrated compositions in support of McKahey. The track "Talking too myself" delivers a quality musical sound with well arranged and integrated string arrangements, and on “Salome” McKahey tones down the volume just enough to make the lyrics finally work with the music.


The fact this album was recorded in London's Wessex Studios, the very place where the Clash, Sex Pistols, and Queen recorded some of their timeless rock anthems, probably has awoken Sid Vicious and Freddy Mercury from the dead. No, there are no timeless melodies here; Sirena is part jazz, part funk, part lounge act, but mostly absurd.
11-Aug-2002 9:15 AM