- 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.
- Crossing The Invisible Line
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