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Scuba - The Hope


I have always liked Scuba. His two previous albums, and his more recent excursions as SCB, caught the attention with their detail and weight. ‘The Hope’ marks another evolution but it’s not a move I have enjoyed.

Paul Rose’s ability as a producer is not in question. Simply and honestly, I just don’t like it. It’s brazen and unsubtle, like a drunken reveller in a west end disco. The swaggering, electro pulse builds with a gnarled, sawing bass before a bragging vocal comes to the fore. The bass returns as rave stabs build around it, cutting out at their peak to herald a more euphoric shift in attitude. It’s the auditory equivalent of being eighteen again and reflects the same unsophisticated mannerisms.

‘Flash Addict’, which does not appear on ‘Personality’, is ideally suited to the bleary-eyed reawakening of the floor. It carries more purpose, driven by a stern kick and sprinkled with twinkling bells that err just on the right side of cliché. Scuba has traveled a great distance from ‘A Mutual Antipathy’ to ‘Triangulation’ and, now, ‘The Hope’, and his willingness to deviate, explore and incorporate new sounds should be acknowledged.

Whatever reasons lie behind this change in style, I imagine Rose cares little about conforming to opinion. If he did, he wouldn’t have made the brilliantly innovative music he has previously. But, as it is any artist’s prerogative to change direction, it is ours to choose whether or not we still want to listen. This time, I won’t be.

Olly Chubb

Reader Comments (1)'s a pity - I like the 'angry hornet' like electro-snarl in the track...but that's about it...

March 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJean Michel Genre

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