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The Colors In The Wheel
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The Colors In The Wheel

27 Jun. 2006 | Format: MP3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9325496c) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92084570) out of 5 stars Awesome! 25 July 2006
By Eddie Badger - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I just picked up this album and it was everything I was looking and would expect from Venus Hum . It is an amazing use of electronic manipulation merged with Strean's melodic vocals. Musically it has all the surprises and quirkiness of Bjork but with the ethereal vocal stylings of Imogen Heap.............and to think this album almost didn't get made!! I would definitely recommend it!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x920845c4) out of 5 stars Mood perpetuates mood 20 Oct. 2006
By EA Solinas - Published on
Format: Audio CD
For their third full-length album, Venus Hum change their sound a bit. Rather than effervescent synthy pop, they try out a dreamier, "Colours in the Wheel" embraces a dreamy, swirling brand of electronica -- think Flaming Lips by way of Aphex Twin, with Imogen Heap doing the vocals.

The change is pretty obvious with the first song. "Mood perpetuates mood... tears perpetuate tears/one lie touches the other find..." Annette Strean croons softly over a guitar ballad, which is woven through with thin ribbons of synth. After a brief, surreal interlude, we're off into the album full-force.

Harder electronic songs have their presence -- the sultry, semisexual "Yes and No" with its urgent beats ("My no means no/my yes means yes..."), and the sinuous, ominous electroglitch dancepop of "Do You Want to Fight Me?" These are flanked by brief noodling interludes, and a few softer, sweeter little pop songs.

That changes with the exquisite "Genevieve's Wheel," where Strean murmurs over sparkling, soft-edged electronica about "all the colours in the wheel/the wheel, the wheel." At the halfway point, the album becomes experimental, without losing the catchy edge, up until the synth-lullaby finale, "Go To Sleep."

Venus Hum tries for an edgier sound in "Colours of the Wheel," and most of the time that's exactly what they get. Okay, "Pink Champagne" lumbers where the other songs dance, and the interludes aren't really necessary. But the majority of these songs are effervescent and creative, with a wider range than Venus Hum displayed before.

Their main instrument is keyboard, which Kip Kubin and Tony Miracle twist into every imaginable kind of sound -- sometimes soft and mellow, sometimes swirling and sparkling, and sometimes in sharp electronic jabs reminiscent of their last album. There's also a spattering of more down-to-earth instrumentation, such as the acoustic guitar in the opening song.

Annette Strean apparently developed vocal nodes a few years back, but her voice sounds just as good as ever -- strong and flexible, sort of like Imogen Heap's spacier little sister. The lyrics tend to be a bit on the simple side, with lines often repeated, but in Strean's voice they sound quite good.

Venus Hum have some uneven spots in "Colours in the Wheel," but the darker, more experimental, still entrancing music is definitely worth getting your hands on.

(Thank you, Rebecca!)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x920849fc) out of 5 stars Too much layered sonic junk, not enough Annette 16 Nov. 2006
By Jamie Flournoy - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I really love Big Beautiful Sky and Songs for Superheroes, but this album really misses in the production department, and fails to draw the listener in. It's hard to listen to - challenging - almost tiring to consume. I couldn't figure it out until recently, and now it's obvious. It's all the extra sonic junk in the mixes, that aren't rhythmically or harmonically useful. There are just oodles of bleeps and bloops and filtered swooshes that are layered on every song, and they really detract from the groove and melody, burying Annette's vocals and making for basically a confusing electronic art-music experiment rather than a professional CD. I would totally buy a remix of this CD that simply omitted all the sonic junk and put the vocals front and center as found in the prior 2 CD's.

Note that this has nothing at all to do with the songwriting or performance quality - it's just a production botch that could be fixed in a single day. As it is I can't stand to listen to the songs because there's just too much crud going on.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92084dc8) out of 5 stars So the story goes... 2 Oct. 2006
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Venus Hum presents an intriguing collection of soothing lullabies and sensuous edge driven songs. "Turn me around" is a perfect introduction to an album that continually changes and begins in an intense longing, moves to sexy exciting challenges and then returns to sweet purring lullabies.

"Let your no be no

and your yes be yes

my no means no

my yes means yes"

"Yes & No" is an intense sexy song that could mean anything you want it to mean and it presents an almost sensual challenge that speaks of a mind game or intellectual playfulness. Sure to get your heart beating a little faster than it was at the start. It is like a song under pressure that simply wants to explode in passion and then simply dissolves.

The same energy seems to pervade "Do You Want to Fight Me" and it is a very sexy challenging throwing down the gauntlet type of song. Both songs seem to leave you a little breathless.

The untitled songs on this album seem to be transitions between the songs and serve to introduce the next track effectively. The last untitled song sweeps almost silently into a lullaby that teases the listener with words of rest all while it keeps the tempo humming.

~The Rebecca Review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92084d74) out of 5 stars Hauntingly Beatutiful 3 Oct. 2006
By Charity - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album is a beautiful and haunting electronically charged mix of pop and indie electro rock. Infused and layered with stunning and unforgettable female vocals, the album provides a soundtrack to an roller coaster of emotions. Poetry-like lyrics, dreamscape synth, unique song composition and even the seemingly contradicting fusion of innovative and cutting edge pop are just some of the experiences you will have when you listen to Venus Hum's, The Colors in The Wheel. The album could be described as Moby meets Sara McLaughlin meets Poe, however even that would be a description that would take away from the truly unique nature of this album. I highly recommend this album to people who are not afraid of slightly experimental music.
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