The short version:
Hybrid—Morning Sci-Fi: 6/10
Métisse—My Fault: 3/10
Scissor Sisters—Ta-Dah: 5/10
Zero 7—Simple Things Remixes: 2/10
On the plane and on my trip I had quite a while to check out some more CDs I'd ordered. One I've been listening to is Morning Sci-Fi by Hybrid, another Pandora discovery, one that I may not have purchased had Napster's free service existed when I bought it. It's hard to rate this CD, because there are two different styles, one of which I like much more than the other. Half of the CD is what I consider pretty standard and bland techno. The other half sounds a little more creative, but is often peppered with vocals that I don't like all that much. I don't know what it reminds me of... maybe The Cure or Fischerspooner or something.
The highlights are Marrakech, a nice little faux-world-music number, I'm Still Awake, great electro-pop with a nice beat, and and Higher than a Skyscraper, full of very synth strings. Most of the rest is pretty standard techno fare like Visible Noise, which I could easily live without. To me, there's not really enough on the CD to recommend it. But, I think that the CD has helped me realize something: I think that I like electronic music that's almost danceable but not quite. The songs I like best on this CD are the ones that wouldn't quite work in a techno dance club. But, then again, everything on Madonna's latest CD is dance-friendly, and I loved that. Hmm.
Next is My Fault by Métisse. The standout track here is Boom Boom Bâ, the only one that I'd heard before, and sadly it's the only track that I really like. Some of the music has potential, but it's not produced very well, and a lot of it is just awkward and mildly unpleasant. If you like Fool Inside you might like the rest of the CD. Some part of me makes me think that I should like it for some reason, since it's fundamentally similar to music that I do like, but I just don't. Hopefully the fact that you have to order the CD from Ireland will help to discourage you from bothering with this one.
The latest Scissor Sisters album, Ta-Dah, is another tough one. I loved their first one—it was so unexpected and silly and interesting. I don't know what to say other than that there were a million directions they could have gone after the first album, and they picked one that I'm not too excited about. The first single I Don't Feel Like Dancin' is probably a good indicator of what to expect from the rest of the album, and I don't really like it all that much. The album comes with what is probably the most awesome CD case ever—kind of like a pop-up book—and another upside is that there are are eightteen tracks on the limited edition, so there's variety. I like I Can't Decide, the delightfully wacky Intermission, and the dirty Kiss You Off... the rest of the album gives me mixed feelings.
I'm not unhappy with my purchase, but I am a bit disappointed, and this isn't the kind of album that would make me a fan of the group. Get it if you liked their first album, and probably pass if you didn't.
Finally, I checked out the EP of five remixes from Zero 7's album Simple Things. They're not very good. Don't waste your time.
Quite the disappointing bunch there. Next on my plate are Chali 2na—Fish Market, which isn't that exciting so far, and Newsboys—Go, which seems pretty decent.