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Never Said Anything by The Belles

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Reviewed on 29th March 2004.


Never Said Anything

By The Belles

déjà vu : n. 1. (Psych) illusory feeling of having already experienced a present situation. 2. Something tediously familiar. 3. The Belles

No, not a side project from Belle & Sebastian, The Belles are actually Christopher Tolle and Jake Cardwell, a duo from Kansas of all places. The main problem I have with this CD is that I know that I've heard this song somewhere before. The strummy acoustic guitars and the heartfelt lyrics matched with the upbeat drumming and warm sounding organ parts are all ingredients to a recipe that I've heard so many times.

"It's been a bad day / but tonight my love / it only gets worse" goes the main lyrical crux of the song, making you believe that this guy has been in his fair share of shitty relationships. Musically, however, the title track really doesn't do them any justice, with its sugary sweet melodies and its über processed harmonies, it all seems to fall a bit flat and dull.

Track two is where the money is. The remix by Magnet is slick, funky and most definitely more dynamic than the original. Bass heavy, with sloppy trip hop beats and reverbed vocals, it's dreamy as it is cool as a cucumber. Added to the mix are those delayed organ chords, the electric guitar lead and some spacey sound effects, to make sure you end up nodding your head. In a word: sweet.

The second and final b-side is a cover of The Lemonheads song 'My Drug Buddy', which is pretty by the numbers really - strummy guitars, high-pitched organs and plodding drums. It's enjoyable enough I guess, but sounds so much like Evan Dando's solo record, it's hard to see why they bothered to cover it at all.

The main result is that it's a bit lifeless, but I'm willing to bet that the broad sheets wet their pants over this band, calling them the best acoustic duo since Turin Brakes or something. Mind you, they always do that.



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