Not to grandpa it, but it used to be that you had your emotionally distraught singer/songwriters on the left and your carefree electro/techno denizens on the right. Sure, every once in a while someone like Underworld would shake shit up, but in general it was the narcissist versus the hedonist, and never the twain should meet -- neither aesthetically nor thematically. Maybe the Britty brats of Radiohead are to blame, but now every heartbreak has a vaguely techno beat. South Florida band Baser is just the latest to employ electronic flourishes in its tales of emotional dystopia and relationship withdrawal. On its debut, Sonogram, the five-piece band thrives off of emotionally bare and compositionally spare arrangements. With its pleading, bleeding heart, "Stella" is a highlight. The song's vaguely jungle, bottom-of-the-mix drum machine programming adds more texture than rhythm. The CD's other tracks aren't so subtle. With all the talk about "the distance that separates us," as well as his promises to "make it work" and desire to just "make it through the night," lead singer Omar William's lyrics oftentimes lapse into cliché. But despite these missteps, there's still enough emotional meat to hang an album on.
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