October 18, 2004

See Venus "Hard Time For Dreamers"

Fort Lauderdale's See Venus certainly ake a soft-rock splach with Hard Time For Dreamers, their long-overdue debut album. This five piece have some quite obvious loves: Beach Boys, Bacharach, as well as the soft-rock hits of the sixties, seventies, eighties and today. The only thing that ever makes the record cause your pulse to race is the dreamy croning of lead sindger Rocky Ordonez, who coos and sings in a so-sweet-it'll-kill-ya voice that instantly draws you in and soothes your heartbroken soul. (Rocky is a woman, by the way.)

See Venus has a great variety of musical instrumentation at their disposal--from keyboards to coronets, marimbas and melodicas (oh my!), as well as accompaniment by enough instruments to form a soft-rock symphony. All of these thigs combined with the band's ovbious sweet-tooth for pop music guarantees (or at least promises) that you're going to get some interesting pop tunes. Just dig on the opening number, "Trust," with its breezy, Billy Joel meets Bacharach meets Christopher Cross-style vibe; it sounds about as lovely as a warm summer's walk on a moonlit beach. The same with the really cool, mellow "I'll Bet You Know" and "Each And Every Word"--two songs that could have easily been hits this summer, and both are excellent mix-tape crush song fodder.

Despite the pop goodness, there's one major flaw. If, upon reading the above description, you were instantly reminded of Stereolab, then you'll know how the record sounds. While there's nothing inherently wrong with sounding like Stereolab, it guarantees that the band will be held up to a standard that they may not be able to live up to. Though See Venus have yet to come close to making Peng, but Hard Time For Dreamers shows that they've got some great ideas, and maybe with a little time and maturity,they'll be able to shake those Stereolab comparisons. I hope so, too, because this is a nice sounding record, and I hope they have a long future full of wonderful soft pop-rock.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.seevenus.com
Label Website: http://www.marchrecords.com

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