Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Album review: Chocolate Genius Inc – Black Yankee Rock (Commotion Records)

The music of Chocolate Genius Inc, aka Marc Antony Thompson, could easily be described as "genre-bending". However, despite his moves between New Acoustic Movement style folk, Marvin Gaye soul and quiet stoner rock, it could also be described as "a bit boring". A feeling of overly laid-back listlessness pervades his third album, making it tough for the listener to engage with many of the songs here. On the plus side, it's often so soporific, you can't be bothered to get up and switch it off. There are some inspirational moments, but CGI doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between these and the mediocre ones. There's one line in 'Cry' that makes you think it has the makings of a classic ballad, but a general tunelessness brings it down to the level of forgettable background muzzzzic. 'Rats Under Waterfall' goes for the loveable eccentricity ticket, but comes across less Super Furry Animals recording in Rio, more crazy bearded man mumbling on park bench. The more up-tempo 'Forever Everyone' sounds like it might perk things up, but it's track 10 of 11 and is ruined by the ill-judged and flat vocal. "I lose momentum," he sings, on 'It's Going Wrong'. Yeah, me too.

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