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Radioinactive - Soundtrack to a Book

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Artist: Radioinactive

Album: Soundtrack to a Book

Label: Stranger Touch

Review date: Apr. 5, 2006

The 26 minutes of this EP go even faster than they might, thanks to both superb production and Radioinactive's breaks into hyper-drive verbalizing. On some songs, like "Trouble," his logorrhea is very difficult to understand, the words almost stepping on each other in their rush to freedom. 2001's Pyramidi was a startling, excellent album, and this EP shows no lessening of Kamal Humphrey's skills.

Musically, it's interesting that the album was composed on a Fairlight, which oddly enough gives the album both a slightly older feel and a modern tinge. The superb "Refrigerator" is a good example, as the beats are supplemented by a loping bassline and symphonic hits that are dated, yet still refreshing. The synth melody and vocals harmonize to make for a stellar, memorable song.

That melodic skill is evident across most of the songs, and makes Soundtrack to a Book a must-have. The laconic delivery in "Tarantulas" is laid down perfectly over the slow beats, at the same time echoing the bursts of orchestral sound. "Personality Theft" rides on a cool Eastern melody as the rolling verbal flow cleverly references Gertrude Stein and brownies with Alice B. Toklas while rhyming clandestine with Frankenstein.

Elsewhere, "Radiator" toys with some fun vocal effects and fresh synths, while "Refrigerator (Reprise)" takes a completely different direction than the first version, with old-school beats (possibly a Beatles sample, if my ears don't deceive me), guitar and heavy scratching. Surprisingly, the closer, "Trouble, isn't the best choice with which to end the album. Its clanking rhythm is simple and the music is rather sparse: it's all about the hyper-speed vocalizing. While the words, as always, are clever and interesting, the song doesn't stay with you; the ear for melody that's evident elsewhere doesn't quite surface.

Despite the slight stumble at the end, Soundtrack to a Book is an excellent mini-album, perhaps the best yet from Radioinactive.

By Mason Jones

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