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Carptree - Superhero CD (album) cover

SUPERHERO

Carptree

 

Neo-Prog

3.47 | 54 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I don't think I've ever been this torn in two by an album. CARPTREE's "Superhero" is a seamless fusing of progressive, pop, and electronic elements into lushly textured songs which are emotionally powerful and lovingly crafted. However, I can barely stand to listen to it due to Niclas Flinck's vocals, which are so irritatingly melodramatic that I am alternately reminded of over-enthusiastic performers of children's songs and Geoff Tate (QUEENSRYCHE) doing a broadway show. The title track is well-crafted, with some genuinely moving moments among the drama, and could very well be remade into a film soundtrack hit (but probably for someone else). "Father's House" and "Watching the Clock" are dark and cathartic, with gorgeously brooding piano, the former song climaxing in a huge crescendo underscored by industrial rhythms. The interestingly titled "Calm of their Pupils" explores ambient textures and some very well-done heavy sections but the lyrics are puerile and the vocals are again melodramatic enough to obscure the musical highlights. "There Like Another" may be exploring interpesonal relationships from the viewpoint of chaos theory and holistic synchronicity (how many other songs can you say that about?) but by this point of the album I'm so sick of his voice that I'm instead concentrating on the excellent song structure and lush instrumentation. "Host vs. Graft" is another astonishingly good song let down by the vocals. "Into the Never to Speak Of" explores the existentialist ineffability of love with alternately lovely and hard-hitting orchestration- and the vocals even almost work on the chorus. "Flesh" is another lush and ambitious track, illustrating the plight of a browbeaten lover who can only respond physically. "Malfunction" somewhat resembles a later-era RUSH song, with a rhythmic vocoded intro (and indigenous vocal samples) leading into synthetic textures and glistening layers of guitars, vocals, and synth pads. "Lie Down" is another song which almost achieves perfection on the chorus. Finally, "Sleep", which is wonderful except for...well, you know. These songs are beautifully constructed and performed and constantly in danger of being completely ruined by the lead vocal. Even if the singer had only been disappointing I would have given "Superhero" three or even four stars- the music is that good. With so many talented singers in the world trapped by bad material, it is more than a disappointent, it's a crying shame.
James Lee | 2/5 |

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