steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"The Boy Is Mine" CDEP

Gifted Records

Genres: alternative rock, independent rock

Jan 20 - 26 2003

Melbourne, Australia's one-man pop act Simpatico (the "one man" is Jason Sweeney, by the way) has recently been touring the USA, and as such he has issued this wonderful little tour EP.  Those familiar with Sweeney's signature style, making use of jangly guitars, drum machine rhythms, and friendly, personal vocals, will not be disappointed.

The CD starts off with "Arrogance," a creepy tune that boasts a grand, dark sound that's accentuated by the electronic rhythm section and a brooding bassline that keeps you on edge.  It sounds as if it should be played in a dark, haunted Victorian dance hall or something.

Then comes two 80's synth-pop throwbacks called "Firebug" and "How Could Anyone Not Love You?".  They're intriguing, yes, but your response to them will rely largely on your opinion of the 80's synth movement as a whole.  Afterwards we're treated to a sweet, confronting tune called "There Is No End To This Day."  A simple song featuring guitar, piano, and vocals, the track brings a tear to your eye with an endearing chorus of la-la-las.  Then comes a friendly, upbeat tune called "This Has Nothing To Do With You" that's got some truly beautiful melodies.

The album closes off with a cover of Joe Jackson's '82 hit, "Steppin' Out."  The version boasts some neat synthesized sounds and a steady electronic rhythm section.  Though a bizarre choice, hearing the classic song is sure to bring on smiles of recognition (or cringes of disgust, depending on who you are).

To put it simply, Simpatico's The Boy Is Mine is a catchy, enjoyable album that shouldn't be ignored.  Indie pop fans, eat your hearts out!


Fun Fact: Jason is one of the most prolific indie poppers on the scene nowadays, having released albums on countless labels from all over the world, including Germany's Morr Music, Australia's Library Records, the US's Twee Kitten and Shelflife, and Spain's Elefant label.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]