Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
2008-10-15If the title is any indication, we should already know what we're in for on the reissue of Smile Smile's 2006 debut "Blue Roses." With songs of melancholy and sadness laced throughout, the duet Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme offer a mixture of folk and pop with relationships gone bad as the backdrop to nearly every song on this recording. With the duo sharing the workload, the vocals are strong throughout. For starters, Sad Song just might be the best sounding sad song in a long time as it infectiously and yet sadly laments "I'm not a savior, I'm just a person. You need a hero, but he's not here." Another standout song is the opener and uptempo Anymore, which again expresses sadness this time over the reality that "your not mine anymore." Offering other enjoyable melodies are the songs Waving the White Flag that deals with surrender in relationships and the seemingly positive and catchy Hope Avenue, which is really quite the opposite as it delves into the bad hand that life so often deals. While Smile Smile has undoubtedly created several songs worthy of the listeners time and attention, the "blueish" tint throughout is hard to stomach at times and may not be for everyone. For instance, Your Life is about suicide and reflects on the belief that, in fact, life is worth living despite how tough things might be. Lyrically, this song is uplifting, but musically it leaves the listener wanting something equally inspiring. So, if you're looking for sunshine and a little pick-me-up from Smile Smile, you may want to turn someplace else as it's mostly raining here and the roses are definitely blue. ~Reviewed by Jeff Bouma
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