This is a review of "Now You Can Own The Experience" recorded by Shallowend. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2002.
If you had never heard acoustic music played well. If you had never heard well-written songs. If mumbling rock with no particular words was your only listening pleasure. Well, if...
Shallowend have four lovely tunes played sweetly with two guitars, a viola, some piano and bass and extra echoey voices. A good complement to the electric stuff.
The trouble is that Jumbo Records have a hundred acoustic albums, and could order you two thousand more, that have the same basic idea done with originality, passion, talent, dedication and musical understanding.
Shallowend do OK. But lots of kids with a couple of year's guitar practice and no particular voice or writing talent could do the same. The numbingly predictable chords are pummelled (sometimes on two guitars at the same time) and the viola does just what you'd expect. There is the start of a nice John Renbourn guitar figure on track 4, but it isn't played with any authority and it isn't allowed to sing. And then the heavy handed chords start again. It's like the scene in the soap when our hero is doing a song (that he wrote himself) in a local talent contest.