Grandadbob - Garden Of Happiness
Mixing traditional sounds with electronic production trickery, Garden Of Happiness is essentially a pop album, if also a rather frustrating one.
Grandadbob - duo, Vanessa Robinson and Dave Johnson - aren’t short of eclectic ideas, as demonstrated just by the first three tracks. Come With Me could be filed under acoustic chill out (a twangy guitar betraying a country influence), Shake There is a stompy electro-rock number (see Goldfrapp, whose kinkiness may also have inspired the sleeve art), and Pictures is gorgeous electronic pop.
The problem comes with the sharing of vocal duties. When Robinson sings, they can achieve a dreamy ambience. (One may not be surprised to learn that producer, Liam Howe, is an ex Sneaker Pimps member.) Hide Me and the aforementioned Pictures, both of which feature her voice alone, are easily the standout tracks. It’s (mainly) when Johnson sings that things go wrong, his rougher vocals (think Gomez) far less appealing and often working against the material.
Grandadbob play with some fine ingredients. It's just a shame the recipes are so hit and miss.