Arctic

Arctic

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Starting off with a song that is equal parts the Corrs as it is Billie Myers singing "Kiss the Rain," Arctic knows how to create an infectious and danceable groove. "Blue Eyes" is instantly likeable, since it has enough subtle twists and turns during the chorus. Ending the tune a cappella style is another strong point. "Clear Skies" features Kate Leduc's above-average vocals, but the song tends to be a bit too formulaic. Its guitar is also kept well in the distance, something it could use a bit more of during the chorus. When the group opts for a funkier and layered sound on "Everytime People Stare," everything seems to click. The balance between vocals, guitar, and Fred Leduc's programming gives it a slightly Garbage quality. Arctic knows how to create pop/rock music in the vein of INXS with catchy rhythms and arrangements. The slow love ballad "Incomplete Without You" sounds somewhat bland and might fit better near the album's end. Unfortunately, this is followed by another down-tempo track, "Court Jester," that showcases Leduc's range but little else. It's a soulful approach but sounds too forced to be credible. It picks up slightly in its tempo but isn't enough to be memorable. It's a tune Annie Lennox would perform in her sleep. "One More Night" returns to Arctic's strengths, a melodic and tight pop/rock sound much like the Corrs. "Come 'n' Dance" has more of a murky and moody quality to it in the style of Sass Jordan. And despite the title, it's probably one of the least-danceable songs on the record. "Tomorrow" has a softer rock quality to it but works surprisingly well. It's also one of the few tunes Leduc seems to carry all by herself. "My Momma Said" has a promising beginning, but works much better when the tempo is doubled, which it does during the chorus portions. The album ends on another high point during "Be All My Only," which resembles Shirley Manson in certain spots. It's a perfect blend of new wave keyboards sitting under a beautiful rhythm section. While you may think of the cold when Arctic is mentioned, this disc does a great job of warming you up.

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