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Rosetta Stone

Cryptology

Review by Gary Hill

I have to admit that this is the first time I heard of this act. Apparently they were big in the Goth scene in the UK in the 1980s, but broke up in 1998. They started working together again more recently, and this is their latest album. If you are familiar with a lot of the Goth music that came out in the 1980s,, you will find this familiar territory. It's quite strong, even when the tracks don't vary all that much from one another. In other words, if you are paying really close attention, you might notice that the formula is a bit limited, but if you just let the music wash over you and groove to it, it won't be apparent at all.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Shock
Electronic percussion starts the album. The cut fires out from there to a driving kind of Gothic jam. The instrumental section later in the track really makes me think of The Cure or Bauhaus to a large degree.
Valiant Try
This cut has a more stripped back arrangement. The percussion and bass are the biggest driving factors to the instrumental portion of the number. That said, there are some cool keyboard concepts, too.
With This (I’m Done)
There is a good energy and some intriguing melodies on this number. It's not a big change, but the vocal arrangement holds some surprises and thrills.
In Black
There are some hints of retro rock and roll on this tune. It's another that makes me think of The Cure.
Soon
This driving tune is another great Gothic song. It's no big deviation, but the rhythm section seems particularly up-front on this piece.
Remember (Don’t)
This is another pretty straightforward slab of Gothic music. It doesn't really differentiate itself, but it works.
I Put it to You
I like the energy and some of the keyboard sounds on this. This really feels like something that would have been played at the old New Wave clubs.
Doesn’t Bode Well
I dig some of the hooks on this a lot. The bass work really stands out, too.
Smoke & Mirrors
This is another that's not all that distinct, but works well.
Always Always
There is an echoey kind of thing at play here. This is energized and entertaining. It makes a good closer.
 
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