Undo: As Always, But Never Before

undoUndo: As Always, But Never Before
Looking at the cover of Undo’s As Always, But Never Before, I can’t help but really appreciate the art. The cover is a drawing that contains various items including a girl and her dog, a tree where a cat, squirrel, and mouse sit together, hot air balloons floating in the background, and a large whale flying in the sky. It speaks fantasy anime to me. And listening to As Always, But Never Before I can’t help but feel that it would work as a soundtrack to such a movie.
The synthesized electronics are accompanied from time to time with acoustic guitars and live drums. For the most part Undo (Ory Hodis and Mike Jerugim) are producing the music electronically. You get the feel of ambiance typical in Enya, but without the orchestral grandness of her music. It very much carries a techno feel but without a rush of loud noise and energy. If anything, it does feel lethargic.
The opening track is rather uncreatively titled “Five Minutes”, and it is just that. Five minutes long. It comes off as gimmicky and doesn’t grasp the attention. The length is a bit too long for such an intro and unfortunately lets you know what is to come.
Most of the problem I see with the album is the vocals. Like LCD Soundsystem, the vocals are at times mostly a fluctuation of pitch that resembles someone jumping up and down. They don’t get far from their starting point and are bound to return. I compare a proper vocalist to a soaring eagle. It can go from ground to sky effortlessly and hover anywhere in between it feels like. Rarely do the vocals on Undo reach a height of what I would call real singing.
And therein lies my real nit wit the album and this type of music. The actual music is quite entertaining creating sounds no analog instrument could dream of. But vocally, the music should be accompanied by an equally beautiful artist. I tend to prefer females in this genre, but even a male singer such as Aloe Black, or Bruno Mars would suffice.
As Always, But Never Before has a lot of potential. Unfortunately it does get lost. It’s like a film with a great supporting cast whose star fails to shine. It’s a real shame because Undo are extremely talented musicians.
Rating: 2.6/10
MP3: Undo “Why Didn’t I Know?”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon