Seether

Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces

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Seether's lead singer/songwriter, Shaun Morgan, is an unabashed, unapologetic worshiper of Kurt Cobain, using Nirvana's sound as a template for Seether and, more importantly, interpreting Kurt's teenage angst as something entirely un-ironic and confessional. This is a pretty skewed reading of Nirvana but not an uncommon one, and there have been scores of bands that have devoted their careers to ironing out every quirk in Cobain's legacy, with Seether being one of the more prominent of this legion in the new millennium. In Morgan's interpretation of Nirvana, music is just a vehicle for emotional catharsis and boy did he ever have a lot to get off his chest in 2007, as in the previous year he lost a guitarist; was subjected to the humiliation of his ex, Amy Lee, pretty much writing an entire album about him on Evanescence's The Open Door (including the withering hit single "Call Me When You're Sober"); and did a stint in rehab. All this turmoil is evident on their third proper album, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, an over-written title that hints at Morgan's propensity for purple prose (but not his predilection for profanity; the F-word powers more than a few choruses here). Those words -- tortured and tormented, entirely too literal -- are at the center of Finding Beauty as Morgan doesn't really have an interest in musical development, just pouring out his soul. It's a bit odd that he pairs these naked emotional bloodlettings to music that is jacked-up and overly polished generic active rock that all blends together -- "Rise Above This" the one midtempo tune with an identifiable melodic hook stands out -- but for all his angst, he doesn't really put a unique spin on it; they come across like clichés, not confessions. And so, Finding Beauty winds up being sung clichés over musical clichés, heartfelt but not exactly heart-rending.

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