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Buddahead - Crossing The Invisible Line 
By Chuck G

Sanctuary Records and Buddahead are a match made in heaven.

Take for instance Sanctuary, the record label home to various acts such as Dokken, Megadeth, .38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Not exactly household names anymore, you say? You'd be right. Sanctuary has been exactly that to bands who shall we say are past their prime, giving them a new lease on life.

What does this have to all have to do with Raman Kia, who for all intents and purposes IS Buddahead? It was his father who gave Raman a second chance by sending him at age 9 from his war-torn Iranian homeland to live with his mother in jolly ole England.

So it is only fitting that the record label ready to extend their hand to possible lost causes is now promoting an exceptional artist who hails from maybe the veritable homeland of lost causes. Doesn't it give you the warm and fuzzies?

If that backstory doesn't, than pick up 'Crossing The Invisible Line' because more than likely, this album will.

Giving the Dashboard Confessionals of the emo-world a run for their money, Kia and company run through 11 tracks of running the emotional gamut. Leading off the album is the breathtaking "When I Fall," written about a trip to Amsterdam and the drastic side effects that can accompany it.

Raman gives a great performance throughout. His affected vocals are smooth as they recalibrate into soaring falsettos. But the album does open with it's highlight. While a eye-opener of a song, it is all downhill from there, albeit not a steep grade down.

"Invisible's" tone is that of a Dave Matthews ilk with John Popper's saucy harmonica tip-tapping here and there. "How Does It Feel" is a u-turn in mood. I could better see Clay Aiken's covering this down the road in some ridiculous shimmering shirt rather than see Raman performing this at the cool, hipster coffee houses/clubs.

But Buddahead is best when it's getting down with the sickness. Examining the meat-grinder that is everyday life and bringing those spirits to the surface are Raman's bread and butter. 

"Broken" is a shape-shifting psychedelic journey that infuses Seal's "Crazy" with a little Frankie Goes To Hollywood flavor for possibly the most upbeat song of the album.
 
Relationship-gone-wrong anthem "Chains" highlight the sensitivity Raman brings to the table. His lilting falsetto only highlight the anguish. "Take It All Away" and "Outside" are brooding, rainy day soul-searchers.

Production is slick on "...Invisible Lines," as it should be. But had this album been cut as a purely acoustic vehicle sans some of the ELO-esque Moog instrumentation that fills out the background, 3/4ths of this material would still stand up. 

Raman's father sent him from Iran to England with tapes by The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel and Bread. That was the 2nd best gift he could give to him. Here's to enjoying Buddahead's first gift to us. 
 



CD Info 

Buddahead - Crossing The Invisible Line
Label: Sanctuary
Rating
 
Tracks:
1.) When I Fall
2.) Holding Me Back
3.) Chains
4.) Strong
5.) Broken
6.) Take It All Away
7.) Invisible
8.) How Does It Feel?
9.) Disappear
10.) Turn Away
11.) Outside
 
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online


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