Published July 28, 2006
Like the Telepathetics above, Bela is an Icelander “discovered” by British industry people. Like the Telepathetics, Bela has excellent production. In fact, Bela sounds quite tolerable, with a good low voice, and enchanting guitar parts. Even the cover is neat, kind of. All would be great, if it weren’t for the elephant in the room – Nick Drake. You simply aren’t allowed to borrow someone’s singing style, guitar style, verse length, production style, and overall sound, and put your name on it, are you? Nick Drake is robbed, utterly and completely here. On the bright side, the lyrics, while not as good as Drake’s – and he really wasn’t that good a lyricist – aren’t offensively bad. It’s just the theft that grates. That and this other thing: Bela, like Eyþór of the Telepathetics, has a slur, which comes through on one of the worst tracks, Feels Alright. Which made me wonder, what does it take to get the nod from British producers? Sound like an acclaimed band that has been accepted into mainstream. Dumb it down. Add speech impediment and exotic origins. BC
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