Shade Seven, indie pop/rockers from Oklahoma City, OK, have produced an album that wasn’t supposed to be. It was supposed to be promotional….but they just are too good to keep music hidden. Everyone wanted to hear the new stuff from them, even if it wasn’t exactly finished (or ever scheduled to be finished). What results is this.
The first chords of “My Brightest Star in The Sky” tell us that Shade Seven has matured a bit. They have an outlook that includes less dreaminess and more straight out rock. This is not what I expected, and the first song wasn’t that great. I gave them the benefit of the doubt though. Track two confirms the horror that we have witnessed: Shade Seven has changed for the worse. All the weaknesses of the first track are back for the second: old, boring riffs; a foreboding minor key; no characteristic solo; more emphasis on vocals. The last feature wouldn’t be so bad if his voice were fit for rock. Unfortunately, his voice is not. The vocals have always plodded along slowly, slightly off-time and wandering, which fits perfectly for dream-pop, but for rock everything has to be precise and defined or else it sounds awful (note: there are some exceptions to this, but few and far between). In fact, these features stick around for all four tracks. The highlights here is the adequate mix of new and old on “Another Car Ride”.
In this world of “That’s cool…what’s next?” mentalities, every band must mature (aka change) or die. Shade Seven has not done it well. Their new music is a mix of 80% cliché indie rock and 20% dreamy pop/rock they excel at. Their creativity has been dropped so they can sound like everyone else. They even have a scream in one of their songs, which is the ultimate sellout in today’s music scene. This leads me to conclude one thing: This whole maturation sequence reeks. This was better off not existing.