The word “concept” album took on a negative connotation by the end of the ’70’s. However, this isn’t the ’70’s and concept albums are a good thing. It’s nice to have an album be threaded together with songs that tell stories – to read like a novel. Such is the case with Wavefunction, the new album from Los Angelinos Arrica Rose & The … (yes, “The Dot Dot Dots”). This collection was designed as an album (as opposed to CD or digital), so the idea was to have a different mood for each side, yet tie it together with two versions of the same song (“Oh The Day (Then The Night)”). It works.
Not over the top in terms of sonic quality – almost delicately under-produced, with dry vocals that fit the songs perfectly (her voice is silky and sultry; she doesn’t need studio trickery) – the first two songs immediately have you in their grips. “The Song In Your Head” is instantly catchy and upbeat, while “Love You Like That” is a balls-out sexy number with some very tasty horn punches. Version 1 of “Oh The Day (Then The Night)” is a warm, flawless pop classic with some wonderful vocal embellishments and fine guitar figures; the 2nd version which closes the album is slow and ambient – like a lost Cocteau Twins-influenced track. The “side two” part of this album is much slower; the notion of “dream pop” would not be incorrect as the songs have a slow, somnambulistic feel. “Cut It Out” begins in an almost-dirge-like state to build up to a dramatic tag line and strings; “Where You’ve Been” is a perfect slice of gentle pop with a soulful organ and twangy guitar.
Wavefunction is a grower and a keeper; Arrica Rose’s voice is soothing as it’s powerful and goes into you. Whether you plump for the vinyl or the CD, this is one to have on your turntable or your disc changer.
Wavefunction will be released on November 4th. 2014.