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British rock band South definitely has several things going for them in their newest full-length, ‘Adventures in the Underground Journey to the Stars,’ which was released on April 4.
The album lacks singles of mainstream quality, but never hits a completely off moment. These Londonites know how to make music that is appealing to anyone looking for pretty pop music that mixes down tempo subtly with upbeat UK electronic.
Lead singer Joel Cadbury never strains himself in his vocals, always keeping a soft coolness, letting the rhythm and guitars lead the emotional tempo.
The slower tracks like ‘Habit of a Lifetime’ and ‘Pieces of a Dream’ both start like acoustic folk tunes, but effectively fuse indie-fuzz and electronica to make a different type of softness.
Some of the tracks on the album, like ‘A Place in Displacement,’ transition between increasing energies with ease. The song begins with a U2-esque guitar line as a driving tom-part on drums leads the rhythmic feel.
Cadbury says about the track, ‘The track is loosely about trying to find a place in life and the fact that we don’t always know where to find love and happiness or how to deal with them if we do, you don’t want to wear your heart on your sleeve, in case that love isn’t returned.’
The more upbeat songs like ‘You Are One’ and ‘Up Close and Personal’ break from the ballad/acoustic feel of the rest of the album and effectively invoke an danceable energy.
Some of the songs, like ‘Meant to Mean’ border on cliche in their slow-pop appeal, but the majority of the tracks stand out enough to overshadow such moments.
South was formed in London in 1998 by Cadbury, Brett Shaw and Jaime Macdonald. ‘Adventures’ is their fourth full-length album.
The band has received commercial success on soundtrack of movies and television shows, such as the Oscar-nominated ‘Sexy Beast,’ cultural icon ‘The OC’ and ‘Six Feet Under.’
South will be coming to California on April 25 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood.

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