Le Vice

By • Dec 17th, 2010 • Category: By Matthew Colwell, Featured Review 1, Reviews

Le Vice
Self-released
4 Stars

Landing somewhere between indie rock and electro, Le Vice’s eponymous debut record is filled with understated hooks and beats that scream for the dance floor, but not in a cliché Top 40s kind of way. It’s melodic and musical, but melds perfectly with crunchy synth and groovy bass lines. Le Vice takes the best of the likes of M.I.A.and Black Eyed Peas to craft a new take on dance music.

What first sets Le Vice apart from its peers is the band’s willingness to blend real rock ‘n’ roll with dance grooves. Ending “Shy Guy” with a straight up rockin’ guitar solo is bold, but appreciated. The use of a real drum set is somehow surprising, but once again comforting to the non-electro lover. Even “Uh Huh” employs funky guitar lines behind the psychedelic synth used. The record consistently steps outside the bounds of pop music without alienating that crowd. It’s seamless and shows their ability to bring together multiple groups on the dance floor.

Behind the mic is Alex Lee, a woman with an encapsulating voice that fits right in with the tones on the record. She perfectly blends Fergie and M.I.A. while holding herself up in her own right. Her voice is meant for pop radio. Sadly, though, so are her lyrics. Perhaps a bit harsh to expect something critically worthwhile on a dance/hip-hop record, there’s still little depth in concepts like getting high when you’re a teenager with your lover at the time (“Everytime”). It’s the funk and musicianship that really make this record worthwhile.

Being willing to branch out and still try to make a dance worthy track isn’t the easiest of tasks, and for that Le Vice should be applauded. There are few, if any, records out there that bring grooves like this one does. Even in its intricacies, it’s still a fairly hollow record, though, and could use more life next time around.

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