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Sound Check

September 20, 2012
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By Chad Taylor
soundcheck@dmcityview.com

Blue Haven

‘Blue Haven’ (EP)

Independent

You could take any two members of Blue Haven, combine their ages, and they’d still be younger than me. This is important because all of the band’s hiccups can be chalked up to simple inexperience. There’s not much in the way of harmony to the songs, the guitar and vocals stay pretty much in lock-step up and down the scale and the songwriting is in need of a lot of polish. But Blue Haven’s EP is an investment in the future. It’s a chance to experience some talented young people taking their first steps, and there are strong signs of great potential: guitarist Ben Evans is a rapidly developing stud, and 15-year old ingénue Maggie Bonecher has the potential to take the band’s vocals in any number of directions. Blue Haven is a very fun work in progress. CV

Blue Haven plays House of Bricks Saturday, Sept. 22. $6, all-ages.

Carly Rae Jepsen

‘Kiss’

Interscope

Here’s the thing about Carly Rae Jepsen: She’s 26. And while nobody is accusing C-Rae of being an old soul, she’s definitely old enough to know better. “Call Me Maybe” was an earworm, and admittedly kind of a fun one. Fine. But “Kiss” is 15 tracks of soulless pabulum, and Jepsen should be aiming higher. Consider her sound-a-likes: Taylor Swift (22); Selena Gomez (20); Miley Cyrus (19); Biebs (18). At an age when she should be exploring what she really has to say and growing as a person and an artist, Jepsen is splashing in the kiddie pool. The thing that’s wrong with pop music today is not the sensibility of its audience but the complacency of performers willing to settle for the lowest common dominator. It’ll sell a million copies because teenagers do stupid things, but “Kiss” should stand as a black mark upon the souls of all those responsible. CV

Want your new CD reviewed? Email us a link at soundcheck@dmcityview.com or mail a physical copy to: Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, IA 50312.



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