Baleen – Soundtrack To A Normal Life

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Album Review by EDF

Once in a while a group will come along who, instead of limiting themselves by making a perfect album’s worth of four minute songs, will push the boundaries out and produce an album where the songs will take you on an uncharted journey. This is the essence to Baleen’s second release, SOUNDTRACK TO A NORMAL LIFE where this modern Electronica album sounds more like a compilation album rather than an album recorded by the one group.

Kicking the album off with the jungle sounding intro WAITING it then follows into SWEETSPOT, which is at best a rock tune with a haunting keyboard hook line reminiscent of something taken from a French movies from the 60’s. ASSISTANCE, an instrumental, is the equivalent of a bad dream filled with funky electronic beeps, a lonely sounding piano and a wailing guitar.

While UNMEDICATED might sound a bit like Radiohead, UNPAID PORN STAR is as sleazy as the title suggests with a spoken tale about a willing porn star, musically backed with a relentless rock beat. MOONLIGHT using the famous piano piece by Ludwig Van Beethoven is enhanced with some extra atmospheric sound effects while the jazzy MUTED changes the mood of the record yet again. I DON’T LIKE TO DIE IN THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD, another instrumental in three parts, showcases what Baleen are capable of with the track’s fusion of Middle Eastern sounds with a jazzy sax building to a cinematic climax before then breaking down into an ambient jungle finish.

This is one of those albums you will either love for its diversity or hate because it requires a few listens to get into. With a mainstream group like Radiohead already proving that you can break the rules with an audience willing to listen to this sort of product, Baleen have already proved that they are not just a studio band and can perform these tracks to a blistering live set that impresses.

5 stars