Friday, September 21, 2012

Album Review - Beloved Binge: Pockets

Beloved Binge Pockets front

On Pockets, Beloved Binge displays a matured creativity which rends quirky lyrics and unlikely harmonies into genuine emotion, and they find an electrified zeal in the common space between the poles of pop and rock. The most colorful of these movements is the parade of genres that weave in and out of songs like Shriners on mini bikes. Mix and match arrangements high step with a confidence conjurable by only the most devotedly free minds. 80's inspired joy synth, Spanish style classical guitar, industrial metal, new wave, and indie jangle aren't only found on the same album together, they are throwing candy in the same songs. But the diverse range of genres aren't the only opposites that are found marching harmoniously here, there is a marvelous attraction between the two vocals. The fragile confidence of Eleni Vlachos' girlish squeal locks on and strides the album in a defiant harmony with Rob Beloved's graveled and charismatic dead-pan baritone. Yes, on Pockets, the opposing vocal styles and impossible genre match ups win because they succeed in occupying the same space while offering mutual respect, as if Cyndi Lauper and Iggy Pop romanced over an album without trying to change one another.

The fundamental abilities that allow this duo to compassionately mingle unlikes are found in their lifestyle. Rob Beloved and Eleni Vlachos embody warm old word bohemianism. It’s an immaculate strangeness that finds comfort in the gathering of all things that contrast. These habits direct their music toward extremes and then enjoy the curious juxtapositions once connected. It’s as if parts and pieces of songs were held up to one another on their hangers and stared at in the mirror...only those which didn't match were combined. These themes play out from front to back of Pockets and offer a dramatic window into the creativity of Beloved Binge.

Applauding the diversity of style and genre doesn't do justice to the aesthetic of the sound however and it’s most important to note that the result of all these mash up's is a fun pop record that delivers hook after singable hook. The mutual respect between pop and rock can only happen because both sides are at their best here. Vlachos owns pop and has its rhythm and melody gleaming beautifully. Beloved is a rocker and his arrangements on the six string are complex, interesting, and deft. For a duo of writers to reach so far into their soul and return with the truest elements of their persona and then form them into defendable pop music places Pockets close to self-actualization for Beloved Binge, and close to perfect for all of those standing on the sidewalk dazzled as it parades by. --Carrboro Ninja

The Pockets parade pulls up to The Pinhook at 117 W. Main St in Durham on Saturday Sept 22, 2012 for a record release party, which is triple billed with record releases from Billy Sugarfix, whose EP Carousel offers smooth, chiming, vintage instrumentals accentuated by charismatic baritone vocals...and (E)O(T) from Ellertronic, a lesson in electronic ambient 8-bit pop from local folk heroes Bonnie Pivacek (Sequoya) and David Zielinski (All Your Science). Additional theatrics will be performed in the form of improv comedy. This description was scraped from the New Town Drunks who offer their guitar player Roberto Confressi as one of the actors; "During the Beloved Binge set, there will be several short improv acts based the 70's show Three's Company."

Beloved Binge Pockets back

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