BRUCE SOORD WITH JONAS RENKSE — Wisdom of Crowds (review)

BRUCE SOORD WITH JONAS RENKSE — Wisdom of Crowds album cover Album · 2013 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Wisdom of Crowds" is the debut full-length studio album by Bruce Soord with Jonas Renkse. The album was released through Kscope Music in June 2013. It´s a project created by Bruce Soord (Pineapple Tree), who wrote and programmed the entire instrumental part of the album with Jonas Renkse´s (Katatonia, October Tide, Bloodbath) voice in mind. So "Wisdom of Crowds" is a collaborative effort by the two musicians.

Stylistically it sounds more or less like you´d expect it to sound considering the two artists involved. The instrumental part of the music is electronic/ambient melancholic rock, while Jonas Renkse delivers emotive and melancholic clean vocals on top. He brances out a bit more than what he usually does while singing for Katatonia, but at the end of the day it´s unmistakably the sound of him singing. The arrangements are for the most part tasteful and relatively accesible, but it´s not necessarily instantly catchy music. Some tracks like "Frozen North" and the title track feature strong hooks, but with others you´ll have to work a little more to discover the catchy moments. Most tracks are relatively mellow and ambient in nature, but there are a couple of more hard rocking moments featured on the album too. Examples of that are the Depeche Mode influenced "Radio Star" and "Flows Through You". While "Frozen North" is predominantly a mellow melancholic track there´s also a quite dark and metal oriented section on that track.

The musicianship is on a high level throughout. Renkse is skilled and possesses a distinct sounding voice and Bruce Soord is obviously a clever composer and arranger. The only issue I have with "Wisdom of Crowds" is that the band have opted to use drum programming instead of hiring a real human drummer, because the artificial drum sound does not necessarily suit the otherwise warm and organic sounding music that well. It´s not a major issue, but to my ears more organic sounding drums could have elevated the music to even greater heights. When that is said, there are parts of the album where the programmed drums fit pretty well.

"Wisdom of Crowds" features a detailed and clear sounding production, which suits the music well, so all in all it´s a high quality release and a successful collaborative effort by the two artists. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
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