Posted on November 21st, 2008 (1:15 pm) by Travis Müller

If InYourSpeakers had review headlines, the one for this review might look a little something like this: "Glass Candy: sweet, tasty, but look out for shards." This experimental album Deep Gems from Glass Candy is a mixed bag of different styles in dance music, ranging from house to pop to electro. Comparable to Grace Jones with heavy Ace of Base influences, Deep Gems is a release you won't soon forget.

It's a little sad that the sound on this album could be regarded as retro. To me, 1990s house music will never be retro-- it will more or less always sound dated, but that's just because 1999 still seems like yesterday. The beats on this album confused my ears because despite how spare they truly are, they are still mixed to near perfection, combining that mid-90s sound with the popular stylings of today's dance scene; Moloko and The Knife would be proud. As minimal as dance music can get, this album showcases catchy hooks matched with some of the most obnoxious vocals I've ever heard from an album out of this genre. There are times on this album when vocalist Ida No sounds like she's being tortured, then there are times when her unusual style fits beautifully - almost like a Deborah Harry who can't control her voice.

Drawing inspiration from contemporaries such as Freezepop, some of these tracks really are great. Among them, Animal Imagination is sure to please retro-music fans and current club hoppers - anybody who was a fan of the music on Britney's last record will probably love this track. The duo's fun-loving vibe is showcased on tracks like Geto Boys and The Beat's Alive. There really is a lot going on here because rather than a true combination of sounds it's more a mixture of random tracks. It's pretty easy to list all of their influences in one long list, but it might take a full notebook to finish.

That said, there are some songs that just do not work. In particular, the album opener (excluding the Introduction) Feeling Without
sounds like a Yoko Ono b-side - an unpolished one at that. In order to repair your ears from the hell Glass Candy puts you through on this track, there are other stellar tracks, like Soft
, that experiment with both spoken and sung vocals.

Deep Gems ends on a strange note. While the music gets a little starker and more instrumental, I wouldn't say it ends weakly; rather it fades away. We get the ends ups, the middle, and the end, but without the need for giant fanfare. The release can speak for itself, and there are some classic tracks here, but as with nearly any b-sides compilation, a mixed bag is what you ask for and a mixed bag is what you end up with.


1. "Introduction" - 0:47
2. "Feeling Without Touching" - 2:48
3. "Poison Or Remedy" - 3:42
4. "Animal Imagination" - 6:04
5. "The Beat's Alive" - 4:48

6. "Something Stirring In Space" - 5:02
7. "Theme From Deep Gems" - 1:29
8. "Stars & Houses" - 3:50
9. "Geto Boys" - 3:48
10. "Miss Broadway (Remix)" - 6:07
11. "Soft Boundaries" - 3:42
12. "Touching The Morning Mist" - 4:30
13. "Silver Fountain" - 7:03

Glass Candy is...
Ida No
Johnny Jewel


Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

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