Hey, its Purple-Rain era Prince meets any track from a John Hughes soundtrack and reconstituted into what is Saturn. The bad thing is that the recording of this album actually sounds as if it was on equipment from the eighties – the droning of emptiness is present throughout the disc, a sterility pervades the disc. As well as the aforementioned sterility, there is a repetition to the instrumentation on the disc that is probably the most serious detraction from the disc. While Saturn has a compelling voice during the disc, the simple fact is that eir’s voice sounds as if it is compressed to some super-human degree, and as such, it becomes very hard to actually draw anything in the way of a connection with ey. Each drum machine-created line looms over Saturn’s voice, threatening to swallow eir up. There is no human element to these drum beats, making it seem as if there are two songs running concurrently, instead of having one cohesive and coherent song.
When Saturn actually is able to project eir’s voice over the drums, the results can get fairly embarrassing quickly. The “rapping” that ey does on the track smacks of un-professionality, and the crooning that ey does with the rest of the track is strictly mediocre. What really causes Saturn problem on the disc are the lengthy tracks that are placed on the disc – with a little more editing, some of these tracks could be cut down into something that is actually collected and calm. The falsetto voice that Saturn uses during “The Alley” verges right at the line between interesting and annoying, but this track is the most solid on the disc. Mixing in Kraftwerk-style synthesizers with the most believable Prince imitation, “The Alley” is something that I could conceivably hear on the eighties hour of the local radio station.
The same driving synth lines are continued in the track “Seventeen”, which is not a cover of the Winger track, but rather another original by Saturn that is leaps and bounds better than those contained on the first half of the CD. It takes a lot for an individual to go and play all instruments, write all the lyrics, and put the disc into something that is solid, and I could see Saturn actually succeeding if ey goes and uses a more vigilant eye on some of the drum machine levels and track lengths.
Top Track: The Alley, Seventeen
Saturn – The Virgin Poet / 11 Tracks / 2003 Self-Released / http://www.iamsaturn.com / Reviewed 12 April 2004 /