Saturday, January 27, 2007

Si*Se: More Shine

'More Shine,' a 2005 release by New York based Si*Se is a chilled out Latin-Jazz-electronica record that does just enough to keep the listener interested. On the band's website,, the group emphasizes the fact that they are a part of the underground NYC scene, which is fine, as that is certainly a pedigree to be proud of. Coming from the NYC underground, however, does not excuse releasing a record that could clearly be much better.

Do not get me wrong, this is a decent album, and some of the songs are off-the-charts good, but this listener believes that Si*Se failed to grasp that the underground NYC sound is difficult to transfer out of the lounge and onto a disc. It can be done, and from the good parts of this record I think this band may have the potential to do it, but this album falls short of that goal.

What I mean is that while there is a certain depth to the compositions, and Carol C's voice is strong and seductive, the album fails to retain the mood that I think the band was aiming for. During a live performance, this consistency is easier because a group can play off the audience and the synergetic result makes the show. I have not seen Si*Se live, but I would daresay that this something they are very good at. But this is difficult to do in a studio and like so many other bands Si*Se cannot quite reach that highest level of recording.

Independent of one another, all the songs are pretty strong, but playing the record all the way through, the hooks, and vocals, and tracks generally started to sound like one big, redundant song. For me, this overpowered the many good segments that I discovered along the way.

Now, this is not to say that the record is not salvageable. Despite the negative tone of this review thus far I think this is an album worth buying. In fact, the track "Mariposa en Havana" makes the record worth the money hands down, and is a good example of what Si*Se can produce. In the end, I hope that this band stays around for a long time, as they are doing some interesting things in a genre of music that has a lot of potential.

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