In Limbo: The Lost Puracane Sessions

Puracane

Bulletspace Records, 2006

http://www.myspace.com/puracane

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/04/2010

With the absence of David Biegel, Puracane lost the lone musician in the band as well as its composer and producer – in short, the musical voice of this duo. But singer Ali Rogers dauntlessly trudged along, not letting the band simply perish in defeat. The result of her solo endeavor is In Limbo: The Lost Puracane Sessions, released six years after the band’s debut Things You Should Leave Alone. In a way, the name of the album might seem befitting for Rogers and her struggle with a band with its musical half missing. On the contrary, In Limbo is not an album that struggles. In fact, it is an admirable effort.

An outcome of Rogers’ collaborations with a variety of musicians, In Limbo is a hodgepodge, but Rogers appears to have a good control over what goes on in it. There is though, a palpable – if not strong – change in the direction of the music. Unlike the debut, this one doesn’t obsess over a wannabe trip-hop sound. On the whole, this album has a laidback pop mood, and although not as intense, conveys more originality than its predecessor; even the more trip-hop leaning tracks, “7 Seconds” and “Sand,” have a different approach than the trip-hop of the previous disc.bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250

There is a new sense of playfulness in Rogers’ voice, which is far more animated and interesting on this endeavor than the previous one. The contrastingly different singing styles on “Warzone” are a great example of Rogers’ newfound vocal sparkle. Also, as opposed to relying solely on programmed sounds of the keyboards, Rogers takes chances with live instruments on this record, not only adding a new dimension to the electronic sound of this album but also showing confidence as a solo artist.

Rogers has allowed pop-inspired simplicity to dominate the environment of this record; melodious songs with beckoning choruses rule the day on In Limbo. Out-of-the world brilliant tracks like “Dogs” and “HAL 9000,” and just simply great ones like “Secrets” and “Digging Too Deep” are simple, instantly pleasing, and do not come with any baggage of eccentricity. By the same token, Rogers sings freer and more expressively, and she sounds lovely singing these tuneful numbers.  

Along with the positives of this disc of different approaches, there are some negatives, too. While Things You Should… had a monolithic sound, it was also tight. In Limbo, on the other hand, with its assortments, also comes with flabby numbers that are weak and lifeless, like “All In Good Time,” “Everything,” “War Is Over,” and “Another Boy.” With a running time of 72 minutes, In Limbo needs to shed some serious weight.

Puracane is no better or worse as a one-woman project than as a duo. However, it certainly has become more interesting.

Rating: B+

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© 2010 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bulletspace Records, and is used for informational purposes only.