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[Album Review] "The Infinitive Definitive" by Unknown Component

Unknown Component Album: The Infinitive Definitive (released 10/12/10) Home town: Iowa City, Iowa Musical Style: Alternative/Experimental Rock For fans of: Puddle of Mudd, Sufjan Stevens (kinda), Fuel So, until recently, the band Unknown Component wasn't on my radar.  For those of you who were like me, I'll give you a little background on these guys.  Or I should say 'guy' singular because this entire album is written, produced and recorded by Keith Lynch.  This is a one man show.  Unknown Collective has been active since 2003 with seven self-released albums and two unreleased albums.  According to a press release, Lynch is self-taught and he performs live playing on an acoustic guitar.   Here is the opening track on the album "Moving Out of Frame." There is no doubt that Mr. Lynch is a talented musician.  He is prolific and plays each instrument really well.  The problem is that the total sum of this music isn't really interesting to me.  It reminds me of a combination of a lesser Sufjan Stevens combined with Fuel.  Mr. Lynch's voice has a harsh raspy edge to it that is haunting at points, but it's just not something that I can listen to for a long period of time. Instrumentally, the Unknown Collective is pretty strong from a pure logistical sense, but not really in an aesthetic one.  The songs are well put together, but taking songs like "Future Circles" as kind of inductive to the whole album we hear a strong sound that is just kind of dampened by the vocal performance. "A Heavy Heart or an Empty Stomach" has a catchy intro and is one of the songs that is faintly memorable.  We then get songs like "The Experience of Understanding" that is pretty good at points, it has the dark quality of The National and a slow rhythmic churn that is intriguingly beautiful.  The next song "Every Measure and Space" is a soft laid back song that really warrants listening to a few times to give it a chance.  It is a pretty good song. The rest of the album is just dull at points.  "When the Illusion is What It Seems" is pretty engaging at first, but loses me when it drifts into the toned down howling of Lynch.  The last song "Electric Dissolution" is well mixed and has a nice piano beat that is mystifying and I enjoyed the layers of Lynch's voice. Overall: I feel like Lynch is a strong musician who should hire another singer.  I'm just not a fan of his voice.  He is a strong songwriter and musician and I believe that his songs are put together well, but just suffer from the poor vocal performance overshadowing the instrumental.  I would encourage people to check out this album if you're a fan of previous work of Lynch.  I would also encourage people giving the tracks a few listens because some of them are good, but for the most part they did not connect with me. -Soren Nieminen

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10/25/2010 7:23PM
[Album Review] "The Infinitive Definitive" by Unknown Component
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