When Joydrop burst onto the scene in 1998 with their release of Metasexual, they were somewhat of a minority in that they made unique music and their frontman wasn't a man at all, but a woman. (Not to mention the fact that all four bandmembers have a first name that starts with "T"). However, while this first effort was well done, it fell into a groove of repetitiveness. After a few songs, everything just kind of blended together. But this has all changed with the release of Viberate, a very dynamic album that is heavy on the band's best asset, the voice of Tara Slone. She has the ability to sound seductive and chilling when singing a ballad and then harsh and mad on the very next track. Even on a few occasions, as is the case with "Sometimes Wanna Die," she can combine both of these emotions into one beautiful song. The album starts off with a bang, hitting the listener hard with the fast-paced anger of "Thick Skin." Next is one song penned by Slone, the more cynical "American Dreamgirl," where she belts, "I won't be silenced by your small-minded validation/your silicone creation rock & roll masturbation." As is evident in these few lines, lyrically the album is superb. Each member of the band takes a shot at composing both the music and the lyrics, and this in itself adds to the variation of sounds in the tracks. After the aforementioned "Sometimes Wanna Die," the record breaks somewhat with a few average songs. Included in this bunch is "Life on the Sun," which fails to measure up because it distorts the voice of Slone, which is kind of a letdown after hearing it so much in the first three tracks. However, what this portion of the album does do is keep the listener interested with wild guitar segments, computer-generated sounds, and overall a unique sound. This is important because the best song on the album is the track right after this down period, the ballad "Embrace." In this song, Slone's vocal talents are showcased more than anywhere else, making the listener extremely happy for sticking out the middle. Overall, Joydrop does an excellent job of creating great sounds that you don't hear in the mainstream. But at the same time, they don't get too creative and just let Slone do her thing.
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AllMusic Review by Shawn Nicholls