In order to fortify a proper reggae album, one band followed a book of rules that apparently was written by God. Of course like all religions the followers tend to object to many commandments expected of them in order to attain eternal happiness. Whether it be happiness, a haven, or dub, you would do well to make sure all is well and your life is a streaming fountain of good. Bedouin Soundclash is an agnostic band. Not speaking for the members themselves, of course I don't know them personally but their approach at the genre it appears they try to enforce is slightly flawed. Whilst screwing together a solid album with the dub norm of catches, hooks, and raspy singers, Bedouin still falls to the ever inducing musical drug that is pop. They took it unintentionally and without knowing of it. So instead of a dub explosion, this is a reggae-pop combo with a side of french-fries. The food representing the good influence brought upon these boys (since they are good) by their reggae predescessors. You can obviously tell upon listening to this record, Bedouin Soundclash knows their s***. That part of them speaks openly on Sounding A Mosaic
and clearly shows the guys have hit the dub books before. The members of the band successfully paint a picture in your mind of flowing streams, coasts, sunsets, street life at night and all that other good stuff. But I have seen but one full score worthy painting and this album is not it. Doesn't even come close. But you know what it does? It doesn't care. Bedouin Soundclash don't give a flying eff if I don't like their music because they want to play it and chill, enjoy their living and career and paint more pictures.
Stacked up on eachother are the recurring ideals that Bedouin follows on their sophmore album, like...
1. Vocals that catch you like a kung-fu fist to a fly.
2. Repetitive instrumental, since everyone listens to Jay.
3. Um...lets sing this line again, just in a different song, backwards.
Yes. Sounds generic? Well yes and no. I'll tell you that when listening to SAM expect no difference from sing and song. Jay likes to tilt the limelight twoards him alot
and at the same time relys so much on his backing on certian songs. I mean, songs like 'Jeb Rand' and 'When The Night...' would sound perfectly fine if there were no instrumental whatsoever. Truf. But then we come to tracks like 'Gyasi Went Home' and 'Criminal', Jay steals your ears while playing guitar and cueing bass and drums at critical points to keep your attention. SAM does nothing short of and will probably be stuck in your CD player for a solid week. As the instruments warp into a beautiful beast with Jay's vocals, it is imperitive to remember that reggae is a longshot away from what Bedouin have created. Bob Marley or Peter Tosh had great voices, but they didn't steal the show. Bob Marley is nothing without his Wailers. Peter Tosh is nothing without his...uhm, marijuana. But yet both of those artists liked to share. Mr. Malinowski was absent a few times too many in kindergarten.
So if this band really is what I'm saying it is, then what similarities does it recognize from real pop music? Not sharing the spotlight is uncommon amongst redeemable pop bands. Not saying Bedouin isn't that. You can listen to this over and over and over. I guarentee, if you find any passing interest in this album then it seems quite the impossible to avoid it for a while, or forever. Good pop music doesn't get old and is always loaded. The barrel always delivers. Catchy? Yes. Short? Yes. Emotion provoking? ....Maaaaaybe. Perhaps Bedouin just didn't feel the feeling that Marley used to get? Can't 'ya smell that smell, Jay? Guess not. But not all pop is heart-wrenching ballads as much as it is general enjoyment. Classify them under that. Bedouin Soundclash doesn't make revolutionary music. They have texture and substance and a good sixteen tons of potential sitting up their sleeve, and great song-writing...but why am I speaking these words? Have you heard them before? Of course. Revolutions are an overthrow, not a rehash of the past. It doesn't seem as much as they're trying to ressurect the reggae dub scene, Bedouin was hip enough to score a spot on the Warped Tour. Now thats saying something when speaking of your music. But Don't get the wrong idea about Bedouin's work. It isn't an indie attempt closely and obviously laced with MTV. This album is a television dropout. Coverage is unlikely because for the most part people don't want to accept a sound like this, a personification of a genre with such great potential power that they choose to ignore it. Now, that would be a mortal sin when it comes to Soundclash.
Eager for attention the record flows through your ears, gets out of the water and hops its way up Catchy Hill to your mind. There aren't any means to describe this album that require negative assumption, or a declaration stating that it isn't fun. If a person tells you that they think Bedouin Soundclash is a boring act, please do the rest of the music world a favor and launch a blow directed at their face. "Boring" is if you yourself are bored, and can't enjoy the music to its full esteem. Walk into the canvas collection room expecting nothing other than what you want
to hear, stuff that would both look and sound good live, and music that won't leave you deprived of the reggae genre despite its lacking in that department. Inside the music is a message that screams out happiness...its just laced with it. Happy feelings come with the record. Listening to it on the drive home from the store at which you bought it is one of the several activities that may trigger ultimate satisfaction among yourself. Either that or take a walk with it, show it to a significant other or read to it. Picture in your head what they may sound like live. You want to Sound a Mosaic, as the title suggest. Paint a picture in your mind's eye that satisfies your wants with the album. Then it'll work.
Now despite the earlier description, Bedouin may still not seem like your usual new sound. Reggae hasn't made any full-blown explosion in recent years amongst the modern youth, which is you most likely, and most likely, you haven't heard what it would sound like if sent through pop's repair line. If you'd like something new that isn't extremely experimental and forcing it's way into your brain then Bedouin Soundclash is for you. Purchase Sounding A Mosaic
before you get into the less accessible of the two albums. The first is the excitable freshman who can sing his heart out and place himself in your heart with a ballad at the end. SAM is the moody fifteen year old with new ideas and experimentation galore, in his room with his friends. Don't act on impulse and get anything you see, SAM is your friend. The origin of the band is your little brother, with immense talent. You'll take him for a walk like your mom says after you finish eating in your
room, listening to what you
desire to hear. Oh, and after the painting is finished. It may take a while, and perhaps your little brother could help give you some ideas? He isn't that much better than you, SAM, y'know.
Vocals/Guitars: Jay Malinowski
Bass - Eon Sinclair
Drums/Back Vocals: Pat Pengelly