Saturday, December 15, 2007

"I see you, always struggling"

Every year my list contains at least one guilty pleasure. This has included everything from Kelly to Kylie. This year it's not at all what you'd expect, especially considering they've been on this list before with a handful of mind-blowing EPs that preceded this full-length, one that landed with a bit of a thud amidst the blog community that had championed them. The self-titled album from Austin's Voxtrot included an uncharacteristically hushed, but equally addictive tune called "Real Life Version" that sounds so much like a Coldplay song that I've dubbed it this year's guilty pleasure.

Unfortunately when I went and saw the group last week in what will probably be my last concert of the year, they did not play the song and pretty much stuck by the punchier pop tunes that have paved the road for their burgeoning success. Many people pointed out the real possibility that Voxtrot could cross over to mainstream success and it didn't happen, probably because this song was tucked down at the bottom of the album rather ever considered single-worthy,

The album as a whole was correctly pegged by many as being enjoyable, but terribly inconsistent littered with a handful of missteps. The end result was the cliche phenomenon of a "good, but not great album." A year ago I would not have hesitated to suggest this would be a sure thing to make my top ten before I even heard it. The Smiths with a sharper "oomph" and jumpier progressions, their reputation after each EP skyrocketed upward to an atmosphere that eventually would have to meet its limitations. It was a case of nearly impossible expectations considering it's five-year lead-in. If the self-titled has anything going for it, it's a very contemplative record you'd expect later in the career of a band and depending on what follows for Voxtrot, this one might be able to gain some newfound appreciation over time. For now though, people want an album with "Raised by Wolves" several times over and a few "Your Biggest Fans" for good measure.

Ramesh Srivastava and crew had been touring non-stop since May and the many who've seen Voxtrot live know they're such unabashedly down to earth, nice and sincere guys that I have a sneaking suspicion most people will in fact forgive the flaws of the album in time. But as you've seen here, I long ago already began embracing the biggest departure on

Voxtrot - download "Real Life Version"

visit the band
buy the album

This, by the way, marks the end of Disc 1 if you're feelings so inclined to recreated the two discs I made to shape this month


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