The Freelance Hellraiser - Waiting For Clearance
If you're expecting some sort of party dance album from the guy who famously (and rather brilliantly) mashed together Xtina and The Strokes, then be prepared to be disappointed. In fact, even The Freelance Hellraiser aka Roy Kerr's own statement that Screamadelica was his template doesn't quite gel. Waiting For Clearance is first and foremost song-based. True, the songs are mainly built on loops and beats, but there's little here that would distress the average Radio 2 listener. You should know better than to expect cutting edge from a record which so prevalently features Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody on vocals.
Indeed, considering the clumsy Can't Hide, one is grateful that it is the sole attempt at instrumental dance. Otherwise the album is generally more succesful. Fans of the aforementioned Snow Patrol should be happy at least. Lightbody's voice seems to suit the material, from the fluffiness of Send Me to gospel-tinged The Sweetest Noise. Former Snow Patrol guitarist, Iain Archer, also performs singing duties, mainly on the harder tracks, but these are less memorable.
Occasionally Kerr betrays his mash-up roots. Want You To Know, the album's high point, uses sampled vocals to sound like a cross between Fatboy Slim's Praise You and Moby's Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? Less appealing is the collision of what appears to be a Hey Jude sample and early 80s synths on We Don't Belong.
Although Waiting For Clearance has some breadth, it is no Screamadelica. Kerr has said, "I want to show people that I'm not just about putting two songs together to make another one - that all along there was a desire to make a proper album." The result is often a little too MOR; short on playfulness and exciting tricks.
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