Alberta Cross - Songs Of Patience

The same acoustic guitar, the same vocal harmonies and the same frustratingly vague chorus lines.

Label: Ark Recordings

Rating: 6

Though it definitely suffered from having all the edges polished off – or at least sneakily left in where they existed – Alberta Cross’ debut ‘Broken Side Of Time’ was nevertheless a decent mainstream indie record. On this second effort out they’ve sanded even further down, leaving a set of tracks driven by the same swung, tambourine-and-shaker ornamented beats, the same acoustic guitar, the same vocal harmonies and the same frustratingly vague chorus lines.

For all that, ‘Songs Of Patience’ is actually not bad as long as you know what to expect. ‘Ophelia On My Mind’ tramps away with all the earnestness of a Smashing Pumpkins acoustic single, if little of the heart, while opener ‘Magnolia’ echoes Genesis’ 80s single ‘No Son Of Mine’. It’s so well constructed as pop music the only thing you can really say is that there’s not much diversity, and the lack of any tracks like the heart-stopping ‘Rise From The Shadows’ or swaggering ‘Thief & The Heartbreaker’ will make anyone fond of their earlier, rockier material – calculatedly raw or not – tune out quickly.