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George Harrison's son finds electronic soul
It’s a far cry from The Beatles, but when you’re the son of a Beatle, it’s probably a good idea to avoid comparisons.
When listening to “thefearofmissingout” by thenewno2, any Beatles comparisons are unlikely to come up, even though the band is built around George Harrison’s son Dhani. He sings as well as plays lead and rhythm guitar, piano, keyboards, bass, ukulele, drums and synthesizers.
It sounds like he does it all, and in some cases he does. Technically, there are five other band members and “thefearofmissingout” also features a few guest artists, including RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, who drops a verse or two on “thewaitaround.”
That’s only one example of how thenewno2 is decidedly non-Beatles. While he might have some vocal similarities to his father, Harrison’s music here is predominantly electronic based, often with programmed beats and robotic-sounding synths.
At first, the electro-fuzz of the lead track “Station” might be off-putting, but with repeated listens, it begins to reveal its intricacies. The next couple of tracks are somewhat more accessible as Harrison channels a mellow Radiohead vibe on “Wide Awake” and grabs hold of a gorgeous melody on “Timezone.”
“Staring Out To Sea” features an appearance by Ben Harper on vocals and lap steel guitar. Harper and Harrison are also members of the trio Fistful of Mercy with singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur.
While “Staring Out To Sea” retains some electronic textures that tie it to the rest of the album, it’s also quite lush, especially with Harper’s luxuriant steel guitar and female harmonies by Thorunn Antonia, who also brings her gentle touch to a couple of other tracks.
It’s actually the final track, “The Number,” that sounds the most Beatles-like, and even then, it’s really only in Harrison’s acoustic guitar that is faintly reminiscent of some of his father’s work. For the most part, “thefearofmissingout” finds a nice groove in its subtly ruminating electronic soul with a nice helping of the family flair for melody.
Joining thenewno2 as an electronic band with heart is the Swedish group Niki & The Dove.
At first listen, the music of Niki & The Dove might seem like just another Nordic dance-pop production. This is no Ace of Base, though. Their music is deeper than that but just as infectious.
Coupled with the indie-rock vibe common among sub pop releases, the band’s debut, “Instinct,” references other acts while remaining disarmingly original, thanks to Gustaf Karlof’s shimmering keyboards and Malin Dahlstrom’s strong yet refined vocals that manage to deliver hook after hook.
“Last Night” has elements of a Tegan and Sara-like rhythmic quirkiness while “The Gentle Roar” channels the arena-ready anthemic style of Florence and the Machine.
Meanwhile, “DJ, Ease My Mind” is huge. That’s the only way to describe its sound, which is full of drama and emotion but still danceable.
That’s the beautiful thing about Niki & The Dove: They manage to create dance music with emotion.
So often the genre is cold, almost lifeless, but not so with “Instinct.” This is a dance album you can truly feel. http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20120823/ENTERTAINMENT/308230017/George-Harrison-s-son-finds-electronic-soul?odyssey=nav|head&nclick_check=1