Roland Belmares

Harlequin Presents: Residency

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Whether you see it as underground house or some kind of modern-day Hi-NRG, the kind of music Roland Belmares spins is wafer-thin when it comes to substance. Why shouldn't it be? Dance music is often about celebration and just plain feeling good, so who needs to be cerebral? Problem is the set of tracks he's stuck with on Harlequin Presents: Residency don't have that extra bit of flair that's necessary to ignore the simple and repetitive lyrics; plus the beats and grooves pummel more than engage. Ad Finem's "If You Fall" distinguishes itself from the other tracks with a slick hook and cool disco string stabs but otherwise things are hard to separate. That's both a comment on the songs' facelessness and Belmares' skill. He's a great blender and has been given much more to work with before. Don't start here.

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