Soundpool: Mirrors in Your Eyes

Soundpool: Mirrors in Your Eyes
After two successful albums as a shoegaze rock band, New York-based Soundpool takes their sound onto the dance floor. On their third album, Mirrors in Your Eyes, the five-piece abandons their passive ways and makes pure dance pop.
Pure dance pop might be a bit of an overstatement. It is hard to move from shoegaze to dance pop, what Soundpool actually moves to is something a little in between. Lead singer, Kim Fields’ voice is ethereal but often gets reverb put on it giving it a dreamy quality. The dreamy quality is exacerbated by echoed guitars. If just the voice and guitars existed in the songs, the band would be labeled as a mix of dream pop and shoegaze. What turns Soundpool from shoegaze is the rhythms. The computerized rhythms that the band utilize are often uptempo and dancy. The added dance beats make the band have a French pop tinge. Their songs often remind me of Air.
Take the album’s first single “Mirrors in Your Eyes” for example. The song starts with ambient mechanical noise before disco drums and bass enter. The drum and bass sounds like the backdrop for a Gloria Gaynor track. However instead of strong, firm vocals, Kim Fields’ drifty vocals enter the song. Fields’ uses elongated syllables, which when coupled with reverb and echo, creates a wall of vocals. The wall is captivating and even though the track does not have a traditional chorus, the song works amazingly well as a single.
Many tracks on the album have the feel of a single. The album’s closing track “Listen” reminds me of Thievery Corporation. It features echoed electric guitar hits and a disco drum beat that Dimitri from Paris would love to spin. The track works well from a production stand point, but the track could use a strong vocal performance I feel. Fields’ gives her traditional wispy performance. The performance does not work in their favor in this case.
For the most part, the vocals do not hurt the album. The album’s dance grooves run deep and its combination of disco and dream pop is both unique and engaging. Some of the songs run on the long side and get a little repetitive, but overall I like the band’s new direction. As they smooth out the transition from shoegaze to disco-pop, it should only get better.
Rating: 8.1/10
MP3: Soundpool “Listen”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!