7 & 7 IS - FUN WITH SOUND (*NEW-CD, 2004, Fools of the World) Mike Roe
?Fun with Sound? was produced under the ?Seven & Seven Is? moniker which, in this iteration, features Michael Roe and Mark Harmon at the helm. Drums and percussion are taken up by L?Angelo Mysterioso and, on three tracks, Mick Fleetwood. I guess the absence of Bruce Spencer is why this is not a 77?s album. Whatever the reason, the difference is significant.
?Fun with Sound? is Michael Roe?s brand of pop music, which is acoustic driven, laced with heavy background vocals, and, most importantly, very melancholy. What sets ?Fun with Sound? apart from his other efforts is the unity of the album. It has a consistent soft-rock ambience that makes it almost to the end. ?I?m Gonna Run to the City of Refuge? breaks up the feel with distortion and Elvis inspired vocals, like it?s a nervous teenager at his first party. Nevertheless for the most part, ?Fun with Sound? stays free of the inventive but kind of sick eccentricism that infected, say, ?Safe as Milk.?
Roe?s singing and guitar playing are great here. His voice has that clear melodic timbre he gets when he isn?t straining for a rough and tumble rock sound. And he manages on this album to layer his guitar parts in a way that achieves subtlety as opposed to several rambling guitar takes all jumbled together. And when a solo emerges from all the other work going on it really shines as in ?Say So Long to Your Sad Old Love Song? or ?Ride the Waves.?
The problem is that, for me, the album starts to feel like a chore after a while. By the time I get to ?Glory Train? I start skipping tracks. I think I still haven?t heard that one or ?Guadalupe? all the way through. That said, I like ?Fun with Sound? best of all the stuff Roe has done outside the 77s.
1 Gone In A Moment
2 A Quiet Little PLace
3 My World Inside
4 Thank You For Your Dreams
5 Say So LongTo Your Sad Old Love Song
6 Ride The Waves
7 Glory Train
9 L'Orbis/ Jack Spoiler
10 I'm Gonna Run To The City Of Refuge