Release Date: 03.16.04
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
Bland, Even With the Bacon Bits
by: tim wardyn
Finley Quaye needs to figure out what he's doing. Some artists, like Everlast, scatter their sound among many different genres, whereas others combine several genres together to make a sound all their own, like Beck. Quaye, however, isn’t quite sure what to do. His third album Much More Than Much Love is too much of the annoying aspects and not enough of the good stuff.
Reggae influences several of the tracks here, which is okay if the sound didn't seem so forced. Unfortunately, he comes off sounding more like a poor-man’s Ben Harper, rather than Bob Marley. Other tracks sound like cookie-cutter singer-songwriter songs while still others don’t really have a direction at all. All this makes Much More Than Much Love one big mess. One interesting credit goes to Kevin Bacon, who performed and co-produced 12 of the 13 tracks on the album. I guess this is just one more degree of Mr. Bacon (like we needed another.)
The better features of the album are more sparsely scattered throughout. “Dice,” (the only song not involving Mr. Bacon) produced by William Orbit is the first single. It is a good song, partially because Beth Orton helps with the background vocals, but it does not fit on this album, as it's the only track with a primarily electronic beat (and it sounds really out of place).
“Overriding Volunteer,” the album's high point, is an upbeat and highly infectious tune about the decline of civilization. “Living Without You” is also very catchy but the lyrics are quite generic. Case in point, the chorus: “Living without you, sure ain’t easy.” Heartbreak has been written much better than this hundreds of times, just look at David Gray’s “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye.”
These cheesy lyrics for Quaye are like a cold that sticks around for way too long. Lyrics such as “Overcome, why don’t you come over,” from “Overcome,” and “You’re an adorable baby, and an exceptional lady,” from “Adorable” infect the album.
The albums largest faults, however, are in "Waiting for You" and “Beautiful Nature,” where in the latter he sings the same line (“You’ve got a beautiful nature”) seventeen times. After the fourth time it starts wearing thin, making the CD Player's "skip" function all the more useful. "Waiting for You" continues this disastrous trend with a horiffic chorus, making it one of the worst songs released in some time: “Bum-bum-bum, I’m waiting, bum-bum-bum, I’m looking, your something else, and your good-looking.” Yes, he actually sings the bum-bum-bum. I’m guessing that he’s looking at her “bum-bum-bum.” Just a hunch.
Overall, the bad aspects of Much More Than Much Love overwhelm the good by a whole lot. The good songs are pretty good: catchy and something that I can see myself singing. The bad songs are so bad that I have a tough time putting this album into my player. Not to mention that the title is, dare I say, too much. Finley Quaye could be really good, but he relies too much on generic lyrics and he still doesn’t know exactly what he wants to do musically. After three albums he should have figured that out by now. 27-Apr-2004 8:20 AM