Connected by AMERARelease date: November 30, 2017
Label: Self Released
Looking at the cover of this six-track EP, with its cartoonish drawing of the trio that recorded it, you would immediately get the impression that what you are about to listen to is some kind of electronic pop/dance mixture that would try to combine everything on the span from Taylor Swift to Beyonce.
But then AMERA start their Connected EP with ‘Cobra’, a track that runs like lite drum ’n’ bass combined with Mulatu Astatke style piano and sax, with vocalist Brooke Adams doing her best version of Ethiopian singer, Aster Aweke, for the track to suddenly switch to kinda of a heavy drum ’n’ bass metal combination. Very interesting and very promising.
You can add the promising tag to the title track too that follows. It is yet another drum ’n’ bass combo, this time with Cocteau Twins-like guitars and vocals and again all odds, it somehow works. “Dolphin’s Flight” ranges into the Hawkwind/Gong space rock territory and manages to keep its focus to make it an interesting listening experience.
But then come in “Shiver” and “Sun Will Rise” and you are in the musical territory that certainly suits the cover – electro/pop in different shades and variations. There you can get the sense that singer Brooke Adams had a solo record that peaked at number 28 on Billboard. So if you liked or could certainly listen to the first three tracks, these two might not be your bag. Mine they certainly weren’t.
The closer “Yours and Mine” is what you could name a ‘standard’ drum ’n’ bass material with a pop tendency, saved in its second part by some nice piano touches and quite heavy beat patterns and electric guitar. Not as ‘chart oriented’ as the previous two, but not up to the standard of the first three.
So AMERA’s Connected could definitely be described as a mixed bag in every sense of that term, and should definitely be approached as such. You can certainly pick and choose.