The Austin Chronicle

Phases and Stages

Texas platters

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, February 18, 2005, Music


Room Noises (Reprise)

As much as it hurts to say this, Eisley's first full-length album, Room Noises, is the sonic equivalent of a very beautiful woman. Once the shock of her beauty has worn off and you actually tune in to the noises coming from her mouth, you realize that she's dull as dirt. Not to say that Room Noises is quite that dull, but it certainly lacks the uncooked flair of the Tyler quintet's EPs, Laughing City and Marvelous Things. To wit: "Telescope Eyes" is one of the more devastating tracks on City, raw and desperate. Here, it's so overproduced that it's stripped of any emotion whatsoever. Its sibling, "I Wasn't Prepared," fares slightly better, but still drags in this version. Not the whole album is a wash, however. These are lovely, Cranberries-inspired song-tales drafted from the imaginations of home-schooled teens from the boonies. "Plenty of Paper" is an upbeat jaunt through a dreamland populated with "tiny motorcars and eyeglasses full of stars." Room Noises is the perfect escape for girls who've outgrown their My Little Ponies but aren't quite prepared for more adult outlets of expression, and that of course is its downfall. While Sherri and Staci DuPree have florid imaginations and lovely singing voices, that won't carry the band past one or two LPs. The band and their producer shouldn't be afraid to let the frayed edges of dreamland show a bit more, because sometimes there's more truth in imperfection than beauty.


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