Supreme Beings of Leisure

11i

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    6
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After a five year absence, Supreme Beings of Leisure returned with 11i, a lush therapy session of an album where angst and luxury are both overindulged. Sometimes, it works splendidly as is the case with "The Light," where studio whiz Ramin Sakurai offers light breakbeats and cinematic strings while singer/songwriter Geri Soriano-Lightwood cleans out her closet. There's a cringe-worthy moment, though, when she sings "My mother's voice spills out of me like vinegar" with gigantic authority. She isn't so bold on the rest of the album, and most of her pining for freedom and dealing with "a love not made for this world" is easier to swallow, which is good because this effort is stuffed with words. Had guitarist Geoff Brandin been allowed to take his imitation of David Gilmour into an epic, Pink Floyd-esque solo it would have made "Mirror" a better track. Had DJ Swamp been allowed to scratch a little longer on "Swallow," it would have offered some much needed excitement and grit. None of this is allowed because the Beings fancy themselves as songwriters here. While they can set a mood with clever wordplay or vivid phrases, their real strengths are Sakurai's posh, downtempo soundscapes and Soriano-Lightwood's voice, which hasn't lost any of its power while on a half-decade break. This is a mood album mistakenly thinking it's deep, but 11i -- named after the duo's "fascination with the number 11" of all things -- is at least familiar sounding and musically well crafted. Sultry and chic sounds are still well in the Beings command, and that's the reason most fans signed on in the first place.

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