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Him -

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 28 / 1 / 2010

Him - ん
Label: HipHipHip
Format: CD


Directionless and uninvolving jazz-influenced new album from HIM, the project of former Mice Parade member Doug Scharin

This album from HIM eschews a conventional title in favour of the Japanese character for n or m – apparently the only independent consonant not combined with a vowel in that language. The combination of former Mice Parade man Doug Scharin and his previous Japanese collaborator musicians is, however, something of a disappointment. All too often the sparsely vocaled, light jazz sounds like nothing so much as the background music for a trendy restaurant where the cultural fusion décor is more important than the food. There are moments of charm on 'ん' – notably the beautifully simple start to 'Makossa for Masako' and 'Clues to the Roots' – but as a package it flounders. Crucially there is no real sense of direction and most of the songs sound like a bunch of very talented musicians having an extended jam session with slightly over-extended periods of solo noodling. Pleasant as this may be, it makes little lasting impression. The songs simply meander around in vaguely charming interplay of soft notes, occasionally coalescing into a rhythm but more often not. Many tracks start charmingly like the aforementioned 'Makossa for Masako' before eventually petering out or sonically dissolving. Such is the rush to get to the next riff that promising starts are abandoned without progressing and the listeners attention wanders away too. Despite some nice touches, 'ん' is ultimately frustratingly uninvolving.

Track Listing:-
1 Creode
2 Other Echoes (Touch)
3 Abstract Ladder
4 Those Who Say
5 The Hidden Persuader
6 Makossa For Masako
7 Clues To The Roots
8 It Is Food
9 Hola
10 Unfinished Stairs

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