Dri – Smoke Rings

Dri – Smoke Rings / 2007 Range Life / 11 Tracks / http://www.rangeliferecords.com /

Do you remember the band The Anniversary? That act that got oh so freaking angry whenever an interview or review called them “emo”? Well, Dri was a member of that band. Dri is also currently a member of Art in Manila and Fourth of July. The songs that are present on “Smoke Rings” in no way resemble eir work when ey was still a member of The Anniversary. The dreamy style of music of “Two Are One” has hints of atmospheric rock, shoegazing indie rock, and even a slight hint of artists like Bjork and Vitamin C. Thus, a track like “Don’t Wait” could get Dri some serious play. “Don’t Wait” could bring Dri White Town, Sarah McLachlan, or even Fiona Apple like levels of fame should the song fall into the hands of the right individuals.

Despite the vocal style not being anything out of the ordinary, “Smoke Rings” succeeds through the truly visionary arrangements that are continually present. The tracks all are very short on “Smoke Rings”, and even if individuals want to give up on a track, only a few seconds need to pass and the next track will start out. The quick shifts into slightly different sounds while keeping the same overall style gives “Smoke Rings” much more in the way of cohesion than many other albums that are currently out on the market. What may be an interesting application to this album would be the deconstruction of this album along a “For The People” or “Year Zero Remixed” way; individuals could take the instrumental parts and rearrange them, leave out or otherwise modify the vocals, and create something completely new out of this album. If this could happen, the next logical step would be to have a rapper lay lines over each track, which just scream their desire to be modified throughout the entirety of this album. There is nothing wrong with Dri’s vocals on “Smoke Rings”, but the shining light that will draw the most individuals to purchase this album has to be the vibrant and highly lively instrumentation that is present during all moments.

Give the disc a go if you like haunting bits of electronic-heavy instrumentation that is broken up by similarly dreamy types of vocals. There may not be many radio-ready tracks beyond “Indria”, but the entire disc is sufficiently strong to merit continued listening.

Top Tracks: Don’t Wait, What’s Real

Rating: 5.8/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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