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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The SilenTreatment

Sinful Acts of Audio

Review by Gary Hill

There’s something to be said for the appeal and grace of a well-written pop song. Groups like The Killers show that this is an art that’s still alive and well despite the sea of American Idol wanna-bes out there schlocking it up. The SilenTreatment are very much in the same vein as the Killers. That means that while they aren’t overly original, they are very entertaining. While this disc at times suffers from a bit of “sameyness” it is a strong pop rock album and one that I would heartily recommend for any fans of the genre. And, come on, who amongst us can’t enjoy a good hook laden pop rocker now and again?

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Pretty Little Girl
The main impetus here is a modern pop rock jam, but there are some keyboards later that pull this for a time into an ‘80’s new wave vein. It’s a strong cut that’s very catchy and makes for a good opener. There’s a tasteful and tasty guitar solo here and some nice piano work.
Body Talk
Although there are no major changes from the last one, this feels a bit more hard rocking – at least in terms of the guitar sound. That said, much of this is more stripped down than the opener. 
The Secret (Jamie)
This one begins even more mellow, but after a while is reworked into one of the hardest rockers on show. There’s some exceptionally tasty guitar work on this number. 
Boogie
Again this is quite similar to the other material, but there’s enough variation to keep it interesting. We get an almost funky element at times here and some of the most immediate vocals. There’s an unusual instrumental break here, too. 
One Night Stand
A piano motif leads off here, but they quickly fire out into more of their trademark hard-edged pop song. The piano does play a bigger role on this than it does in some of the other music, though. 
Always
This is perhaps a bit more stripped down than some of the other music. It also includes some acoustic work in a bit of a change up. 
My Darling
The music on this is close to metal in texture – at least for a lot of the piece. Overall, though, there’s not any huge changes here from the rest of the disc. 
The Shore
This is the most metallic cut on show here. It’s also a good piece, but by this point the monolithic nature of the CD is starting to wear a bit thin. 
All the Time
Here we have a bit of a change up. This has a cool keyboard sound and a funky guitar line. Both of these combine to create a killer retro texture. This feels like it could have been all over the radio in the 1980’s. It’s one of the most effective pieces here and probably my favorite of the album. A talk-box solo is a great touch and lends more of that “blast from the past” feeling to this. 
Sweet Ending
They close things with an acoustic based ballad. While this is a strong song – and certainly the title and lyrics make it a great choice for closing things out, I actually think the disc would have been better served putting this in another slot. The change of pace that it represents could have been used earlier in the rotation. That said, they really do a great job of creating lots of waves of lush sound on this as they build it up. That makes it one of the highlights on show here.
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