Review Summary: Vedera fall short on their major label debut
A lot has changed in the world of Vedera. Back in 2005 when they released their debut The Weight of an Empty Room
the Kansas City group were known as Veda. Driven by the powerful and charming voice of front-woman Kristen May, their brand of soaring indie-pop found them traveling the U.S. opening for acclaimed acts such as Thrice, Mute Math, mewithoutYou and Owen. Since then, they've undergone a name change (for legal reasons), and have moved from the humble home of Second Nature Recordings to the media giant Epic Records. Unfortunately for Vedera, their personality seems to have missed the move.
Vedera's music has always been a few steps away from sounding like the background music on any of the teenage girl melodramas on weeknight television and on Stages
they cross those steps in a single bound. The spacey tones and brooding atmospherics that penetrated The Weight of an Empty Room
have been discarded in favor of crystal clear low key pop. Kristen May's voice is as strong as ever but her singing style has changed. Instead of the slightly accented sultry vox that made their debut so captivating, she now employs a much more airier sound that sparingly has her pushing her vocal chords to the beautiful heights that they are capable of. At times traces of Vedera's past sneak their way on to Stages
. “Satisfy” contains a recycled verse from one of their debut's standout tracks “Desire on Repeat”, and the lush and layered “Look Around” and “We Sing” masterfully display their potential when they inject a healthy dose of tension in to their friendly pop songs.
The change that Vedera have gone through from The Weight of an Empty Room
is one that many people could see coming. Sadly, they ended up leaving many of the features that made them such a pleasure with their old moniker, making Stages
an album suffering from a lack of identity, adrift in the overcrowded sea of female fronted soft-rock.