Pimps - Becoming X
What's a pretty
girl like you doing in a music scene like this? Could
it be... kicking out the jams? Possibly. Vocalist
Kelli Dayton, offers her soul on this album. Her voice
is sullen, yet sexy at once - impaling the heart while at
the same time setting the body quivering. The band members
set the style of an electronica-pop mix with their catchy
melodies, laid-back, deep basslines, and samples from an array
of musical styles.
This group, hailing
from the UK, got their big break with the soundtrack for The
Saint. Their track on the soundtrack was "6
Underground" - their only single thus far, that I am
aware of. Becoming X includes two versions of
this pimpin' track, the original, and the Nellee Hooper Edit
(the one on The Saint). This laid back hip pop
track, which I am sure many of the readers have heard, features
a low, driving bassline, a simple keyboard lick, and above
all, Kelli's vocals.
The album starts
out with that cool bass sound familiar to the Sneaker Pimps
on "Low Place Like Home". This repeating bassline/melody
is one of the catchiest on the album. It repeats throughout
the entirity of the song, making a it a song to just chill
to. Echoes are added to Kelli's vocals on key points
in the song, making her sound more hardcore than usual.
To add to this hardcore feel, there is the added guitar crunch,
increased percussion activity, and upping of the volume at
climaxes throughout this track - making it one of the best
tracks on the album... an emotional rollercoaster.
The next track
is one of the most upbeat found in the album. There
is the familiar low bassline, however, the melody is set with
a synthesized flute. The percussion is very trip-hop,
going into a fast breakbeat on the choruses. At times
an echo is added to the percussion, creating a very cool,
original effect. It is not used so much as to become
annoying, but just enough to make the musical point.
The track has been compared by a few of the big music magazines
as being a kind of B-52s ripoff, but I fail to see it.
(However, they have also compared their basic style as being
akin to a mix of Garbage and Portishead - which is the perfect
description). "Tesko Suicide" is one of the
most original tracks on the album, and lends to a nice variety
on the album. However, it should have been placed later
on the album for reasons I will get into later.
After the next
track, "6 Underground", we begin what is the downside
of the album. While they do have an interesting sound,
and I like the album, it is monotonous. Most of the
tracks sound more than a little alike. The few tracks
that sway from this monotony are "Spin Spin Sugar"
and "Post-Modern Sleaze". (If you ever find
it, there is an awesome remix of Spin Spin Sugar" but
I forget who did it. Let me know who it was please...)
Of these two tracks, "Post Modern Sleaze" is the
most interesting. The melody is played on guitar, and
the percussion is a simple drum/high-hat beat. In the
back however, various instruments are sampled throughout -
causing the track to sound very tribal and mysterious.
But, uh-oh. Houston, we have a problem - these tracks
are right next to each other as well.
Modern Sleaze" there are five more tracks of nothing
totally extraordinary. If they would have spaced out
their variety a bit, this album would have reached a
little bit higher on my kick-ass-o-meter. The CD is
good, but not "da bomb" material. The spacy
sound, with the laid-back bassline makes it a very dreamy
Up / Virgin
3.5 out of