Precious Time

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Critics have scrambled for a label to categorize Euphoria's sound, ever since "Delirium" raged across the airwaves. One suggestion might be electro-blues, an all-encompassing term that still doesn't quite capture all the elements that go into Ken Ramm's amazing musical stew. It certainly, however, describes "Back Against the Wall," a sensational techno-flavored number, drenched in slide guitar, steaming harmonica, and bubbly keyboards. And it's equally apt for "Blue" (one of a quartet of excellent vocal tracks, this one featuring Tina Dico), which speeds irrepressibly toward U2 territory in places, albeit in a thoroughly techno mode. However, the tag doesn't work for "The Glendale Train," built solely on a blues riff, Ramm's phenomenal 12-string guitar, and a tinge of Blind Faith around the edges. But that's the beauty of Precious Time, Euphoria's strongest set to date, for Ramm is taking his project even deeper into unexplored territory. The carefully sequenced album pushes in a variety of stylistic directions, including the country & western shades of "Cowboys" and "Fire in the Hole," the Bristol sound of both the title track (featuring Tracy Bonham) and the haunting Tricky-esque "The Getaway," the space rock goes blues of "Forever Dust," and the floating Orb-esque psychedelia of "Vapor." At least four songs on this set cry out "radio hit," and the rest should keep a wide range of club DJs busy for months to come, for every track within will undoubtedly have its fans. So electro-blues doesn't quite sum up the breadth of this set, nor even hint at the flawless musicianship, stunning productions, and strength of each and every song. But it's a start.

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