Bob Moses – ‘The Silence in Between’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Zackery Michael

A single start-to-finish listen will reveal to just about any listener that the fourth full-length album (joining about a half-dozen EPs) from Vancouver, Canada duo Bob Moses, The Silence in Between, is a strong and tight offering of atmosphere club-type EDM and bouncy, fun pop. Appropriately-titled opening cut “Seen it Coming” is the perfect introduction for the record, right down to the very first lyrics “It’s pulling you in // Can you feel the attraction?” (it will, and you will). The track starts with a drone-y, almost warped synthesized bassline before easing into the main part of the song as the listener shares just the right level of discomfort needed to give the song its edge.

“Never Ending” is a strong mid-tempo offering that is both very modern-sounding and also might remind some older listeners of studio-focused rock such as the Alan Parson Project (it’s worth noting that one half of the duo, Jim Vallance, is the son of Jim Vallance Sr., who’s co-written songs for Aerosmith, Heart and Ozzy Osbourne among many others, in addition to being the longtime songwriting partner of Bryan Adams). At the halfway point comes “Back to You”, which is also appropriately titled, as the song brings the album back to its pop element, sounding like bouncy ’80s-ish pop but also featuring an explosive chorus which makes a terrific contrast to the song’s more grounded vocal approach. “Hanging On” has a bit more of a current vibe, but is no less tight. “Love Brand New” does not rest on the laurels of its attention-grabbing stomping beat, instead offering an R&B-ish pop hook along with a touch of Ed Sheeran and similar current artists.

As simple as the group’s overall (successful) approach is, a few tracks do have just a bit more going on all at once. “Broken Belief” in particular, includes a droning, echo-y rap similar to that used by the Butthole Surfers on their 1996 radio hit “Pepper” (which, in turn, was accused of ripping off Beck’s era-defining “Loser”) but then is blanketed over by both some Trent Reznor-like attitude as well as another good, funky ’80s-style beat. “The Rush” is another tight, bouncy dance song, while “Time and Time Again” and mid-tempo “Ordinary Friend” both do well in creating an atmospheric mood that would be welcome in any after-hours club. Album-closer “Believe” is a strong enough finish, serving as a decent wrap-up for everything else we’d heard up until this point. However, about a third of the way in, it introduces another weird break as if to inform everyone that even this close to the end, the album wasn’t done with surprises.

Tom Howie’s vocals – coming off as determined but vulnerable – could not be better honed to the band’s music, one of a good number of positive attributes for which the group definitely deserves credit. Still, there is a very concise tone on the album, which some might hear as giving all ten tracks a certain degree of sameness. As such, The Silence in Between is either meticulously consistent or not too big on variety, depending on how you want to look at it. But somewhere in between lies a very fine album

Written by: Richard John Cummins

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