Music Artist: Sonicbouquet
Music Album: Secret Garden
Genre(s): Power Pop
Based out of Minneapolis, Sonicbouquet are just two albums old, but that is enough material to conclude that the band does have some potential. Their sophomore album, Secret Garden, came out in 2015, and it is a satisfactory collection of nine power pop tracks. Of these, five are bonus tracks from the Bloom CD. Sonicbouquet, fronted by Robert Longharst, have minimal compositions and simplistic arrangements which might make them just the perfect group for a live act at a cozy café. We see them trying varying sounds on almost each track. Some of these work really well, some of them only sound like elementary additions to complete the album.
|1. Whenever You Lay Down|
|3. You Were One|
|4. My Juliet|
|5. Sea and Sun|
|6. Another Clown|
|7. First Time|
|8. Me and Your Mother|
|9. Hanging By My Fingertips|
- Whenever You Lay Down
This track has a very prominent indie pop touch to it. The tempo takes a while to find it’s place but as soon as the drums kick in, the track picks up and the decent writing adds to the music, making it an apt opener to the album as a whole.
On this song we hear what is arguably the best instrumentation by the band. The melody is good to tap your feet to, and the lyrics are good to sing along to. However, the phased out ending of the song seems to come almost a little abruptly and sounds unplanned. This is where the dip in the album is also signaled.
- You Were One
The third track on the album somehow manages to take the overall vibe southward with it’s especially basic guitar work and subpar vocals. At several places the vocals even overlap and lack cohesion. Having this as the longest track on the album where most songs are hardly 2 minutes long, does not do much good.
- My Juliet
The dip in the album is revived to some extent by My Juliet, with only Longharst on the vocals. A fun, love ballad, this song shows some really good guitar work and possibly the best written lyrics of the album. Like any good pop song, this track has an ear worm quality- the chill guitar melody will stay in your head long after you are done listening to it.
- Sea and Sun
“My Juliet” tried hard to save the falling album, but this track does not lend a very strong helping hand to its predecessor. It has drums as the dominant instrument but the drumming is only decent and like some other tracks, the vocals do not really fit with the music. In this case, the vocals are not powerful enough and come in the way of a fun, foot-tapping drumming experience which could have been enhanced with better singing.
- Another Clown
Sonicbouquet, with this one, offer a completely different experience and sound, much closer to that of an alternative rock band. On this song, Longharst tries hard to lend strong vocals that go well with the exquisite guitar work. This is a fast paced song and gives them a new character that they could definitely pursue and develop further.
- First Time
Sonicbouquet’s lyrics are not always the conventional kind, but on “First Time” they experiment with rather plain words and do it well. Once again, they use simplistic arrangements and the overall minimalistic character gives the song a wholesome sound.
- Me And Your Mother
We finally see Longharst’s voice shine. This track gives him an opportunity to work with skills that he probably could not use on the other, more instrument based tracks. Thus, this is a fresh addition to the album.
- Hanging By My Fingertips
This serves as the closing track of the album, just two and a half minutes long. It starts rather suddenly with some quick drumming and goes right to the point where the SonicBouquet’s music hits their listeners the most. There are a lot of things happening on this particular track but somehow it all works just fine.
Verdict: Secret Garden is the most commendable for the band’s effort at trying to explore different styles and sounds. Although the theme in most of the songs revolves around the same idea, it seems to have been represented in different lights of which some work better than the others. This is where the band’s potential lies and this is what they should be developing upon to become even bigger than they already have.
Picks of the album: Honesty, Another Clown