steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Flawed" CD

Ten Toes Over Records

Genres: alternative rock, indie pop, pop/rock

500 Buchanan St, #A
San Francisco CA

Jan 31 - Feb 6 2005

Flawed is well-written, smooth, and well-produced - though unoriginal.  ViV compose insanely catchy alternative rock / indie pop songs that recall music by Counting Crows, Dishwalla, and The Wallflowers.  The pop sensibility is unquestionable, but modern rock like this is only enjoyable if you don't mind its homogeneity.  The lyrics have predictable themes (angst, love, etc.), though occasionally ViV touches on a bit of inspiration (the second verse of "Suffer" is exemplary.)  It would be very hipster-esque to dismiss this record, but somehow I find myself drawn to its crisp, melodic charm.  It's no wonder the band's songs were licensed to a number of MTV programs; they've got that sort of alt rock spirit that's currently (somewhat) in vogue.

The mood on Flawed is pretty mellow - from the sweet and peppy "Did I?" to the pretty "Suffer" - and the lack of overt "rock songs" may scare off a few listeners in search of something edgier.  Fortunately, all of these tracks are catchy enough to be considered potential hit "singles," and most naysayers will likely be appeased as a result.

This album is a bit tricky - you'll have to determine for yourself whether it's worth your attention (and money!)  However, for a straightforward alternative rock album, it ranks among some of the best. 


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, distributed by CD Baby, released 2004]