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Tortured Soul
Introducing Tortured Soul
Purpose Records
www.torturedsoulmusic.com


Tortured Soul tries to create a mark of existence in a shallow pool of culture, successful in creating a useable product, but failing to stand out in a crowd. House music is a hard medium to carve a niche in, even if you are successful at creating the rhythms; the ultimate test of these would-be bands is to create something lasting. So, I am out at a club and Tortured Soul comes on, slipped between some other inane beat inspired songs, and I keep moving 'cause I can, and do. Would I remember the song? Would I want to go out and buy it? The answer would have to be: no. That is not saying this group doesn't deserve a place in the ultimate grand-scheme of things. Believe me; I am sick to death of hearing the same songs over and over again in clubs. DJs constantly need to replenish their arsenal of material, and that is where Tortured Soul could come in, innocuous, milquetoast, but yet solid and steady.

Christian Ulrich is the driving nature of this band, he writes the songs, sings and plays the drums. I have a deep respect for drummers that sing; it is significantly different (and more difficult in my opinion) from those musicians that have to do the same. He pulls it off amazingly well, with a rich voice and a decent depth of soul for the measure. Unfortunately because of this double duty of drumming and singing, the drums can't evolve beyond a basic timekeeping device for the songs. The instrumental "Epic" is the closest he has to varying his drumming technique, and even for this song, I feel like he is holding back. Another thing that just itches at me as I listen to him is the overall effect his voice has. He is an awesome singer with a lot of definite R&B stylings, yet, as amazing as his voice and style are, I can't help but feel his heart isn't into it. There is a reason it is called "soul" after all, it needs to come from there.

Keyboardist Ethan White adequately fills the gaps left by an already busy drummer, and his layering shows some astute choices for emphasis in the structure. He needs to be more experimental though, stepping it up on his end could drastically improve the quality of the material.

The real star of the band in my eyes is bassist Jason Kriveloff. His influence is hard to gauge throughout the whole album, but it appears when he has free reign to move. At these moments he just takes off. "Why" and "Enjoy It Now" show that this boy has skills, yet is refined enough not to draw attention in other songs, a true team player. Because of his unsung hero status on this album, he has made my "dream team" list of band members, fluid, stylish, and understated at the right moments. Nice job, man, nice job.

The only thing stopping this band from really being known out there is a hook; a good, catchy song that would just explode their fan base. Until then, DJs should definitely pick up this band as filler, and sit back and let the beat continue till the next song.

-bishop

Track Listing:

1. I Might Do Something Wrong
2. How's Your Life
3. Why
4. Fall In Love
5. You Found A Way
6. Epic
7. Enjoy It Now
8. Don't Hold Me Down
9. Love Everlasting
10. If You Want To Feel Alright


 

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Mike Doughty



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