‘Dulcima’ Review: Subba-Cultcha (English)
5th October 2009
Swelling strings, minor key piano and a rich velvety croon, Rhys Marsh, the singer songwriter and the man responsible for the orchestration on this album is certainly talented, but while he aims for the drama of a Scott Walker or the mix of ideas of a Peter Gabriel, it comes across as a merely technical exercise. Fantastically well played, the musicianship of this venture is never in doubt and the production really does put a lot of big money releases to shame, but to what end?
The songs here are just not memorable enough to warrant the attention Rhys has obviously lavished on them, while not going for the easy answer is admirable there are times when you expect a song to really open up with a great hook but instead the listener is led down another cul de sac. Surprising the listener is only worthwhile when it leads to something enjoyable, and for the most part this record fails on this count. There is also a jazzy bass solo on one song, something which I thought had been outlawed by the Geneva convention.
Dulcima is not amateurish nor the work of someone with no skill (his voice in particular is wonderful), it is therefore even more of a shame that its songs are exercises in futility.