Del Rey & The Sun Kings – I Am The Light (CD)

“I Am The Light” starts off in a much different vein than the following tracks would indicate. This is because “Jaxbac” is a purely vocal track that rivals (but does not emulate) throat-singing, while both “Blood Doesn’t Lie” and “Nowhere To Land” approach the industrial, early-nineties goth sound without abandon. The music on tracks like “I Am The Light” seem to be drawn from the Middle Eastern tradition of music, from the drumming and strings. What results in this track sounding like the incidental music for a James Bond movie, exempting the weaker vocal mastering on the track. This is sad, as the vocals on the track seem to carry the torch for Alice Cooper, even if vocalist Jackson Del Rey is not able to compel as well as Cooper.

The instrumental tracks on the disc, like “Ecstasy” are good in continuing the same medieval type of atmosphere but do not stand out as sterling examples of masterful instrumentation. They are purely journeyperson tracks, no more and no less. The next hang-up comes during the tepid and repetitive “One Small Step”, which uses the already cliché “One Small Step” quotation from Neil Armstrong to provide some differing sounds in the track. What results is a track that just begs for another minute of material to be added, as the runtime is dreadfully long for the small amount of new material given. This lack of experimentation is perhaps the key stumbling block on “I Am The Light”, as later tracks (including “Re-Animator” decide to focus all their energies around one specific groove, with little to no tweaking of that core sound.

Moving more towards an instrumental sound for the second half of the disc narrows the options that Del Rey & The Sun Kings can use in further tracks; while “Go!” finally comes into vocals two minutes into its runtime, the title is repeated throughout without any change in the delivery or the general sound of the track. However, there are a few bright spots in this dark disc, which really flashes into brilliance for a second during “Can You Hear Me?”, a track that uses the electronic equivalent of a consistent double bass to provide a different tone for the track than has be previously explored on “I Am The Light”. There are a few interesting things with “I Am The Light”, but money can be better spent with a Lycia or Black Tape For A Blue Girl album.

Top Tracks: Rose Garden, Can You Hear Me?

Rating: 3.6/10

Del Rey & The Sun Kings – I Am The Light / 2005 Trakwerx / 14 Tracks / http://www.scrammagazine.com/delrey.html / http://www.trakwerx.com / Reviewed 22 July 2005

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