I know that they say you should never judge a book by its cover, but ugly artwork on an album sleeve really frustrates me. I don?t like paying money for something I can?t stand to look at. I mean, even a minimal black and white case with text would suffice. It must be said that ?Welcome? is one of the ugliest-looking CDs I?ve seen in awhile.
Now that that?s out of the way? the music?. It starts off on a good foot, with a lounge-jazz kind of feel to it. Then, as soon as David Vandenbroucke starts to sing, the earth opens up and swallows any credibility ?Welcome? could ever receive. Excuse me for saying this, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Vandenbroucke?s vocals are sleazy aging rock star, and the music morphs into some awful hybrid, ranging in styles such as jazz-grunge, acoustic-jazz, ballad-jazz (and yes, it?s all as bad as it sounds). This is pure narcissism in music; at the end of ?Original Sin?, one of the band members shouts out ?Fucking sweet. I love that tune man!? I mean, come on, it?s just plain wrong. If you can buy an album where somebody makes that statement about their own music, then you?re beyond help.
The instruments don?t really suit this style of playing; the flute and saxophone just don?t belong, and subsequently don?t merge well. I genuinely feel unwell when listening to this self-centred monstrosity. It is an hour-long exhibition of poses. You know when you witness adolescent boys doing immature stunts in front of girls, in some incomprehensible attempt to impress? Well, this is that? in music.
This is cringe-worthy stuff, and I feel violated. It?s as if I?ve been deceived into visiting their self-obsessed world, and in doing so, given then undeserved attention.
Listening to this is like watching your dad dance at a party? it?s something that no one wants. This has all left me feeling rather ill. I?m off to have my stomach pumped. 1/10 -- James Clarke (28 August, 2006)