liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Music from the Cube: What Am I Listening To Today?

My favorite kind of reviews: Demos from unknown artists who were supposed to be the Next Big Thing, but never managed to make it out of the jewel box.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present (the new) CW Network Soundtrack Wanna-Be Staple...Binocular!

Give it up y'all and then download the tunes herein for a little entertainment.

Binocular, Binocular Rating=$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: Free demo from my Bordersverse daze

The name of the artist (singular) is, in fact, Binocular. It's not the name of a band, it's the professional name of a person. It's kind of like how Madonna is Madonna, Cher is Cher, and Trent Reznor is Nine Inch Nails. While Binocular is engaging in a time-honored tradition, I believe his choice of name may have been unwise. For example:

  • Google "Nine Inch Nails," and you get this
  • Google "Binocular" and you get this

If that isn't amusing enough, this demo CD has some pretty amusing metadata. To be fair, it isn't the first time the metadata on demo has cracked me up when I've seen it displayed through iTunes because it seemed so ironically fitting. The source of amusement this time? When I put Binocular's self-titiled CD (and only full-length CD according to AllMusic), iTunes informed me that the genre of this work was "unclassifiable."

Yeah. That sounds about right.

Not really sure what Binocular was going for here. Pop? Soft rock? Soft-alt? Singer-songwriter? Future theme song of a WB or UPN (precursors of the CW Network, born September 18, 2006) show? (Oh! Wait! I see that the first track, 'You,' was actually used during the first season of WB's Smallville.)

This CD did yeild one minor hint for Binocular, 'Deep,' which did get some radioplay even though...well, let's just say it's not the best song on this thoroughly mediocre CD. I seem to recall hearing it on radio stations that advertised themselves as the "home of workplace hits" or "your pop variety at-work station" if that's any help.

The album isn't bad, although it took me two plays to determine if I liked it or was merely "meh" about it. I've decided that I "liked it/meh" (yes, I know, that was very helpful), but I wouldn't recommend buying this one new unless you really, really, really like the sample tracks I've provided here. I suspect that this one will be tough to find in a used CD store anyway (far as I can tell, this CD was not big chart-topper and it came out in 2001), so if you're going for the used option some patience might be required.

Or, you could always go to Amazon and pick it up for a little over $2 plus shipping.

I suppose the reason why I'm being flippant about this CD and the undeniably talented Binocular (he did play all the instruments and did all the vocals) is because every online review I came across while trying to dig up more information about this artist was so gushing that I'm tempted to think that every word had been written by his mother. Sorry. I keep forgetting. This is the Internet age. I mean his mother's sockpuppets.

I'll be honest: I found the music to be pleasant enough ear candy. The lyrics struck me as clever at times, but anvilly at others. I'm pretty sure that Binocular's voice isn't the result of ProTools. If nothing else, Binocular is a talented musician and lyricist, but might consider letting stronger voices perform his tunes so those clever lyrics can have the showcase they deserve.

But ground-breaking? The Next Big Thing? The New Poet of American Pop? Ummmmm, make that a no.

Overall, the CD is a decent addition to my collection, especially since I got it for F-R-E-E. Other people might consider getting a used a copy. But new? Assuming you can even find it, it's not worth the money.

Sample Song Downloads: Never, Everything Turns, Fire Burns Bright

You can download all files from the project page by clicking here.


To find previous thumbnail reviews, go to the Review Index.

After the donwload links expire, you can listen to streaming MP3 files linked with reviews at my Vox shadow blog for media.


Rating system:
None = Avoid at all cost. Worth cutting your ears off to avoid if someone threatens to play it for you. When faced with even the threat of its cellophane-wrapped presence, your best option is to RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

$= If you stumble across it for cheap in a used bin, it might, maybe, perhaps could be worth the buy, but only if you need a cheap coaster for your cold drinks or a cool-looking frisbee.

$$= You might want to give this CD/artist a try, but only if the sample track tickles your fancy. Don't bother buying this one new because the good tunes you'd get out of this one ain't worth that kind of money.

$$$ = Worth looking for on a casual basis and maybe even buying new, but no big rush.

$$$$ = Definitely worth having in the ol' CD collection and definitely worth buying new, but don't re-arrange your personal "must have" list to get your hands on it.

$$$$$ = Why haven't you bought this CD yet? Go. This is a "Want. Take. Have." situation because you so want this.

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