Thirteen Senses - Crystal Sounds
If our predilection for tastefully sculpted soft rock, with emphasis on song craft rather than kinetics, really has started to pass, chances are Thirteen Senses didn’t get the memo. The likes of Coldplay, Keane, Embrace and Snow Patrol hitched a ride on the growth of the festival, in turn triggering fields full of love for an arms-aloft indie anthem. The grand daddy of that particular enclave had the commercial nous and artistic acumen to junk their favoured approach in favour of a folked up raggle taggle space rock (Viva La Vida). Sadly, second-raters like Thirteen Senses carry on ploughing the same tired furrow. It’s seven years since ‘Into the Fire’, from their debut album, started its seemingly non-stop rotation during the closing, climactic moments of TV dramas. On this third album, progress is questionable; a daring change of direction not an option. Tinkling keys and timid guitars combine in lightweight backing while Will South’s vocals remain an unnervingly accurate tribute to Al Stewart. Music this polite creates a vacuum in the room and the lyrics, shamelessly offered up on the CD booklet for all to see, marry blandness with a shocking paucity of ideas.