May 11, 2005

Oosterdok "Someday We Will Part Forever"

I know what the problem is here. Becky Naylor and Jay Line, the British duo of Oosterdok, have some good ideas--blending Naylor's most English folk singing with Line's modern-minded electronica backing. It's a good idea, but there's something off with their execution; the two factors seem out of sync. Is it because the backing music sounds too generic? Is it because her singing sounds rather affected in front of such melodies? It's hard to tell. Methinks, though, that it's because they rely too much on the music in the background; this sounds like a karaoke recording. I would have rather heard "High Upon a Hilltop" and the otherwise excellent "You Won't See Me In Heaven" with a more traditional instrumental backing. "Heaven" comes closest, with a piano, and this leads me to perhaps the best lesson for the young duo--perhaps if they blended their songs with more guitars and keyboards or any number of interesting traditional folk music instruments instead of relying on (what sounds like) a computer-generated backing track, they might have something.

--Joseph Kyle

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