steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Society Islands

"Kiss & Tell" CD

The Record Company

Genre: singer / songwriter, pop

August 2007

Hailing from the fine city of Cologne, Boris Rogowski aka The Society Islands is a dedicated singer / songwriter who composes light pop songs that are crisp and pleasant. None of these songs caught my eye right away, though it is the nature of Rogowski's songwriting that the melodies make themselves apparent over a few listens. The disc is worth a look due to highlights like catchy "Julia Peculiar" and Belle and Sebastian-ish "Love Under Palms", though these aren't songs I'll be humming religiously anytime soon. In fact, often the superficial sound of the music is more appealing than the melodies themselves ("Hotdogs at Sunset," "Back of the Land"). In terms of influences here, I'm reminded significantly of The Beautiful South, though often Rogowski tends to add a vaguely tropical element to the songs. Some of the songs don't fly completely - (for example, "The Mill" is considerably bland) though it's kind of difficult to pick on particular tracks here. Of note are Kate Bush cover "Under the Ivy" and a musical rendition of Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee". This disc has an appealing if light sound, though a few more hooks wouldn't have hurt.


Fun Fact: The Society Islands actually exist! They are a group of islands located in the South Pacific, under the control of French Polynesia. Among the most prominent are Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Huahine - an island that becomes two at high tide.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, 48:19, distributed by AL!VE, released 2006]