Inspiration can help the creative process significantly, and it seems as if Mosaics, a California based band, really took some of that inspiration in. Claiming to be shaped by bands like Radiohead, Underworld, and Nine Inch Nails; Mosaics definitely has enough creative influence. That being said, Mosaics offers a really unique sound. Of Colors, the band’s new album, exemplifies this unique style with nine spacey tunes to pull the listener in. Only issue –Mosaics individual style has the ability to be as off-putting as it is interesting.
Of Colors is like Jekyll and Hyde. Sometimes the album is great, other times, it is atrocious. On one side of the coin, the album has songs like, “Lighter.” The tune seems to have some industrial influence. The vocals are raspy. Mixed with a dark synth tune and echoing chords that provide texture, it’s pretty nice. But then there’s the ugly side of the album. The third track, “Constant,” is a genuine tragedy. Acoustic guitar and mostly electronic melodies are hard to pair; and autotune just shouldn’t be used, ever. The second to last track, “Meet Your Maker,” is very guilty of the same crimes. It just doesn’t sound good. The combination of instruments and vocals sit like oil and water.
Without ragging on Mosaics too much, let’s clarify what went wrong. Mixing electronic influence, acoustic guitar, and the singer’s particular style just does not yield in the best result. It’s hard to tell what the band is going for and often Of Colors sounds like a completely overtextured cacophony. Maybe there’s some merit to the band’s unique style, but there’s something that sounds just plain unpolished with this album.
To be perfectly fair, credit must be given where credit is due. Mosaics aren’t so much inherently bad as a band as this album just seems to fall short of what this group could be capable of. The vocalist has a fine voice but he seems afraid of really bursting out of his shell. The composition of the melodies themselves sound like they have a really good basis and you can clearly see that the band put some elbow grease into this. The best of the best of the album just so happens to be the first song of the album, titled “Mosaic.” The vocals almost take a more ambient vibe, and the acoustic guitar that does work its way in is much more tolerable if not adds a non-intrusive melody that helps bind the entire song together really well.
Of Colors isn’t the worst thing out there. The album isn’t even that bad. There’s just something about some of those songs though that are going to shut some people down. Unfortunately, Mosaics is just not for everyone. They’re a band with talent, but their album Of Colors is solidified proof that taste is subjective. There’s no doubt that some people will love the album, but due to the odd and overdone mix of instrumental voices –the album just plain suffers.