Thursday, September 14, 2006

What's The Difference ...

Imagine yourself sitting in a half circle booth with some friends in a seedy bar downtown. The lighting is dim and the air is smokey (So it's obviously not Ontario, with it's no smoking laws) so let's say L.A. The bar is filled with quiet chatter as old friends reminisce and co-workers joke at their employer's expense. The lights on stage brighten and then a piano tinkles a bright jazzy melody then hands over the reins to the guitarist who starts up a bass string riff which flips the mood into a somber feel and a female vocalist croons in with a very loungey, haunting voice. The air is chill now but warms as the chorus begins and a bongo lightens the mood....

This is how I feel each time I throw on Same Difference's self-titled (?) album. This is another gem pulled from the bag O tapes from my brother. It's rough packaging tells of independent production and self financing. But the quality is great and mixed well. The vocals are powerful, but not overbearing. Janine has a beautifully haunting voice and a nice alto almost baritone sound. No soprano here, just belting power from the gut.

In the first track "The Party" (as described above) the album sets the mood and Janine's haunting voice brings such atmosphere to the song. The bongo's add a little rhythm to the dark mood. "Cigarette (You Say) continues without the darker edge but enhances the smokey bar feel.

I guess they would be called jazz, but being unfamiliar with anything outside of metal it's hard for me to pinpoint. Lounge act sounds too cheesy so let's mix the 2 and call them jazzy lounge act. "Kiss Of Ice" and "Can't Hear You Anymore" follow in the jazzy upbeat crooners with rage like rhythm and funky feel.

"Love Is Over" is smooth silky song like a slow drag of a cigarette and the bongo use adds nice groove. The use of percussion as apposed to straight drums allows for a wider range of musical moods. "Summertime" brings a sunshiny romantic mood to an otherwise mostly somber/angst feel.

There are 2 songs that I struggled with as my favourite. The album closer "The River" is melodic and atmospheric. The bass plays a standard riff and the keyboards add an element of pleasantness, but then the vocals power in with loads of emotion and lyrical poetry which gives the song a darker/somber feel. Janine's vocals just shine. However, in the end I went with "In This Life" which starts with a guitar picking riff which the vocals mirror for the first part of the song. It's a sweet melody, full of emotion. Then the song picks up with catchy strum work and an upbeat feel without losing the emotional impact. Up next is a Canadian Gal whom I just adore.

I love this album. I also have a tape of demos by Same Difference (Bag O tapes ... where did you get that bag o tapes brother?) but the songs are more jazzy and I find aren't as memorable. I've heard nothing else about this group and assume they are caput. All the same this is a great album.

5 Comments:

Blogger superstar said...

just a good life

1:02 PM  
Blogger Maisha said...

interesting blog...

5:04 AM  
Blogger cathouse teri said...

Monday, September 18, 2006?

Perhaps the clue is here somewhere.........

I'll search later. Gotta go pick up the kid!

6:11 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I have a bunch of metal demotapes sitting in a box somewhere. Stuff I bought between say 88-92. I just give them a listen some time and see if there are any treasures.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

i never got into the blues..well, i get the blues often to be honest but then i try to think or do something that makes me feel better..it just never has the smokey feeling and never in a seedy bar...

12:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home