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Kate reviews “Beta Love” by Ra Ra Riot

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Kate reviews “Beta Love” by Ra Ra Riot

Members of Ra Ra Riot perform on the Chicago 2016 stage at Lollapalooza, August 9, 2009.

Members of Ra Ra Riot perform on the Chicago 2016 stage at Lollapalooza, August 9, 2009.

Members of Ra Ra Riot perform on the Chicago 2016 stage at Lollapalooza, August 9, 2009.

Members of Ra Ra Riot perform on the Chicago 2016 stage at Lollapalooza, August 9, 2009.

Music Critic

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Experimenting with sound is something to be applauded in musicians, but sometimes instead of receiving cheers from the listeners it receives shrugs.

 

This is the case for Ra Ra Riot’s new album, “Beta Love.” Once heavily influenced by cello and violin, the baroque pop days of this band are over with their third release.

Ra Ra Riot’s earlier releases swelled with a lovely sound of strings playing off of each other, similar to the style of Vampire Weekend, and the moody voice of frontman Wes Miles added to the intense yet light mood that they created.

 

This time around, Ra Ra Riot chose to lose the prominence of the string section for this album and go for synth- and keyboard-infused tracks.

Catchy and gleeful, the record jumps around from 80s-pop-esque “Angel, Please” to the boyish falsetto of the title track.

 

Clap machines and auto tune induce dancing, but at the same time are thickly generic and underwhelming.  It’s a modest attempt, but it is blatantly clear that the band has not traveled the road of synthpop.

 

Artists like Passion Pit and M83 who already have this genre under their belts are what Ra Ra Riot have to compete with, and frankly, “Beta Love” does not meet up to the talents of the competitors.

 

Yes, they made a decent effort at the drastic change in style, but it does not quite rise to the standards set by other artists and all I can do is shrug my shoulders in neutrality.

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Kate reviews “Beta Love” by Ra Ra Riot