Thursday, December 4, 2008

Siberian review

With Me
Reviewed 12.9.07

This week I had the pleasure of reviewing the album "With Me" by Siberian. My choice of words is sincere. It's been a great listen.

I recently got to see Siberian live in Mount Vernon, Washington. Unfortunately I was distracted that night by a pounding headache that left me curled up on a reclining chair in the back of the room. As much as I hate to say it, any faint recollection I might have of Siberian's set that night is obscured by a painful blur. It would have been a terrible thing if my exposure to this band had been left at that, marred by my unfortunate circumstance. This is why I am so glad that this album was presented to me for review, because it gave me a second chance to discover them (sans headache, this time).

From the get-go of this album, Siberian presents to us a swirl of guitar chords tied to the framework of a syncopated drumbeat. Reverb is used to pleasing effect, and lends to the sound a slightly dreamlike quality.

Enter vocals. Comparison to Thom Yorke is unavoidable. The singer's voice carries these lilting melodies that rise and fall in punctuated bursts. His voice is sad and distant for the most part, and occasionally reaches up into a gentle falsetto that seems tender and introspective.

Guitar tones range from clean and dripping with reverb to a crunchy overdrive. There is a lot of motion in the instrumentation, which creates a frenzied, frenetic feel. There's even an acoustic track (entitled "Georg Bendemann"), fingerpicked and mellow.

The lyrics are a little tricky to make out at first because of the punctuated rhythm of the melody, but a closer listen reveals them to be intelligent and poetic. They use wit that is sometimes harsh and biting to address an unnamed, yet well-known confidant. The use of metaphor and imagery paint a distinct and poignant picture.

This is an album that has earned its way into my collection, and I am thankful that I had this opportunity to give them a fair listen without the distraction that encumbered my earlier attempt.

Reviewed by: Brenton Brookings

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