Falaena is an alternative rock band based in England. Their foundation is the songwriting of bassist and composer Christopher Lipscombe and the production of Stuart Moore. Three different vocalists are featured on their first album Ten Beautiful Songs, which is a blend of many different musical styles, ranging from alternative rock to jazz fusion.
I found Ten Beautiful Songs to be a very interesting album. Every single track was starkly different from each other, which was both refreshing and problematic. It didn’t exactly flow for me. I kept trying to grasp the vibe of the band and it kept slipping away with each track. There’s so much going on musically and vocally, it’s hard to decipher the intent of each track.
The first track “Like Fabius, They Wait” was almost a folk-rock type vibe with piercing soprano female vocals and a dark theatrical undertone. The second track “The Girl From Ancona” was funky and jazzy with a sexy playful vocal. Although they were both unique, they felt kind of isolating to me. It’s a very specialized style.
I did however really enjoy “Castaway” which had a reggae-ska style with a fun upbeat feel. The arrangement got experimental towards the end. The rest of the tracks ranged from post-punk and experimental pop to dark folk rock. I enjoyed the songs but they left me feeling a bit confused.
Ten Beautiful Songs is a fitting title for the album since each track is a stand-alone representation of the band. I didn’t feel any sort of collusion or corroboration, it was as if each track was a separate entity to itself. I think there's a lot of talent and originality in Falaena, but there is no overall sound which makes it hard to sink into. I think a necessary quality of a great band is to be distinctive- to be able to hear a song and be like “Oh yeah that’s definitely so and so…” It’s hard to get that from Falaena from this album, but I think the talent is there so I don’t doubt the possibility for it in the future.
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