Think About Life

Think About Life

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In a refreshing change of pace, Think About Life may be the first Canadian indie sensation with no connection to Broken Social Scene, the New Pornographers, or Arcade Fire. Think About Life don't exist in a vacuum -- their press release makes early note of the band's friendship with Wolf Parade, and lead singer Martin Cesar has been in a succession of minor Montreal acts -- but they're not moody experimentalists, smart-alecky power poppers, or anthemic alterna-rockers, which means the trend-hungry music press may have trouble slotting them into the existing Canadian musical power structure. The trio members don't make it easy for themselves on their self-titled debut, either. There are 11 songs on Think About Life, the majority of them just either side of three minutes long and all of them built on the same basic elements: Cesar's dramatic, occasionally hectoring vocals; Graham Van Pelt's high-register keyboard drones; and Matt Shane's clattering drums. Van Pelt's organ parts have the Farfisa cheesiness of the classic new wave era, but the songs are (thankfully) not attempting historical accuracy. Despite the prominence of Shane's drum tracks, the songs aren't danceable in the least, so they don't fit in with the likes of Bloc Party or Franz Ferdinand. Cesar's vocals are so haphazardly mixed, and his singing style is so mannered, that the lyrics are all but impossible to make out. So what Think About Life have are three instantly identifiable primary traits, but what they seem to lack is any sense of what to do with them. Aside from the spacious, dubby mix of the atypically low-key "Money" and the bizarre tangents and multi-part structure of the artsy closer, "The Blue Sun," these songs tend to sound so similar that if the listener isn't paying close attention, they can imperceptibly bleed into one another. There's potential here, but for the moment, it's mostly unrealized.

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