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First CD by The Oranges Band shows talent, but lack of identity

by Rachel Bott

It's exciting to wisen up on lots of bands in this time period, observing the world of music changing and growing. I learn about and discover links between many music groups. I like knowing that I can pop in any randomCD and almost always recognize their influences and describe their characteristics and goals as musicians.

This week I wanted to try something different, to listen to a CD by a band I'd never heard of. I picked out a random new release and set out. And so began my recent familiarity with The Oranges Band.

This group has gone through a lot of change: coming and going from one band to another over time, doing a lot of experimenting. After three EP's back to back, the group has finally produced a full-length album, entitled "The World & Everything In It."

To the indie-rock genre, The Oranges Band bring their own distinct earnest flavor, combined with strong overtones mirrored by such bands as The Smiths, Spoon, and The Shins. Lead singer Roman Kuebler's smooth British accent, quirky echos underneath several song tracks, and an 80's-ish guitar are brightly featured throughout the CD.

It is quite evident that a lot of time went into the production of this CD. The ideas behind the lyric choice and make-up of each song are strong, yet seem to be empty at times. One of my favorite quotes of all time, featured in Cameron Crowe's film Almost Famous, proclaims that "music isn't what you put into it...It's what you leave out."

I couldn't agree more. Some of the most memorable pieces of an album or song are the mistakes and flaws - there could be only one and it makes the whole thing. That tiny detail of imperfection makes it real, and that much more savory.

This album clearly uncovers some real potential in its members but comes off sounding a bit over-produced. In "Drug City," instrumental bridges strive to be spontaneous, yet result in a deliberate and painstaking over-practiced solo.

Perhaps because the band took a lot of time finding themselves as a group before releasing a complete CD, it put a lot of pressure on the album overall. What is disappointing is that the band does have talent, but even with that and their impressive borrowed ideas and influences, they have not really included their own identity as a group. Either it was not strong to begin with or they lost it somewhere along the way.

The title track is a song I wouldn't mind recommending, but that's about as far as it goes because the CD as a whole doesn't really do anything for me. I praise The Oranges Band for having the courage that many don't possess to create music in the first place. However, all I hope for in their next attempt is to let themselves shine through more and to be more freespirited about it. After all, it is music, and it's supposed to be amazing.

Rachel Bott is a music enthusiast who is employed as a para-professional at Outlook Elementary School.

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