|1. In The Heights|
|3. Benny's Dispatch|
|4. It Won't Be Long Now|
|6. No Me Diga|
|8. Pacienca Y Fe (patience and faith)|
|9. When You're Home|
See all 12 tracks on this disc
|2. Hundreds of Stories|
|4. Carnaval Del Barrio|
|7. Everything I Know|
|8. Piragua (Reprise)|
|10. When The Sun Goes Down|
See all 11 tracks on this disc
House albums are a challenging lot, faced with being diverse and engaging, but confined to the danceable beat. This isn't techno/micro-experimental work- listeners are buying this to move, first and foremost. Which Cal Gibson and Simon White thankfully know how to do, as those familiar with their output on the Glasgow Underground label can attest.
The group may not stretch their style far, but tight, oft-brilliant production carries them through: witness "3rd Grade Education" a showcase for songcraft staying within dance parameters, or the classy "Are We Thru" lifted to heights by textured layers and dubbed title lyric. The track, and a handful more, are helped out by the supple voice of Zoe Johnston, rinsed through a myriad of effects.
"Don't Need Nobody" rides a clear hi-hat and repeated hook, and would slide easily into many a deep house compilation. "Blow me down" sprinkles acoustic guitar (is that instrument still around?) alongside knob frequency fidgeting, holding off the pleasing surprise- full, heartfelt lyrics- till the end.
Neon Heights and Zed J avoid one of the pitfalls of CDism by including just nine tracks. Still, at 63 minutes this suffers from Vinyl Release Syndrome- songs stretching to six and seven minutes with DJ padding at each end (a common problem with house albums making the transition from 12").
Oh well, in electronic music the notion of a 45 minute album is but a memory. Some track trimming, and snipping off the cloying trip-hop "Sweet Bird," could've lead to a great record. As is, it's close. Grade: B+