Making Others Rich Album Review
By Aaron Binder
For some unfortunate reason there is a whole group of people that, by choice, gleefully declare themselves picky eaters. What’s worse is they haven’t chosen delicacies or food with complex flavours. When asked they invariably reply with burgers or meat and potatoes or fries followed by a deadened glaze through eyes that stopped pretending to care about life choices long ago.
Thank fucking Christ that, within reason, being picky about music is absolutely the opposite. Being discerning about music allows you to understand the intricacies of genres and bands and their influences plus successors. It allows you to understand the joy of musicianship and, as a listener, come to enjoy the music with greater aplomb.
As a musician, seasoning your music is necessary, it gives depth, flavour and charm to tunes that otherwise might be passable but unforgivably bland as the same burger every night.
Considering The Disparrows album Making Others Rich is much like the aforementioned burger, tantalizingly delicious in thought but prepared with convention and cliche. The meat of this album has a lot to like but the smell is far better than the taste. There is nothing to this album that defines it or its owners as interesting people that eat anything more than hamburgers and fries – almost as though they solely intended to engage audiences that had only been pre-approved by a major label exec.
“Make sure it sounds like early Dire Straits mixed with every hook that’s been used to death in pop songs since the 60’s. Oh and make sure that all the solos and vocals you add in don’t get too hot, we don’t want people feeling things about this music!” are the marching orders The Disparrows probably received before going into the studio to cook the most technically proficient but uninteresting album of 2014 so far. While the music itself wouldn’t be a bad choice for party background music, the vocals are painfully under-practiced and sound like a third rate Zac Maloy.
The Disparrows sound like a band that has done everything right because they were being told to do so instead of actually trying anything adventurous or risky. They may feel something about the tunes they’ve written but their distance to any real human being is relative to how much one enjoys accounting, smooth jazz and going out every Thursday at 6 on the dot for date night at Kelsey’s.
It leaves you feeling like you want to rock out but the music steps back from the cliffs’ ledge every time it attempts to jump, unsure about its chute and less sure about the reasons for leaping in the first place. The Disparrows needed someone in the studio pushing them off that tightly gripped rock and into the great leap that is risky creativity. They needed someone to tell them it was okay to make music better than okay. They needed someone to tell them a burger is a burger but the dressings can make it truly exceptional. They needed someone to tell them not to waste their talent on a middling album that only the most senseless listener will enjoy at exactly 6pm on date night.