White Williams, 'Smoke' (Tigerbeat6)

Critical Mass
Label: Tigerbeat6

by Jon Young

Echoing the scruffy synth pop of early Brian Eno -- minus the intellectual pretensions -- Cleveland's Joe "White" Williams cobbles together a likably ragtag version of electronica. For all the squiggly melodies and bumpy computer beats, however, Smoke's strength is his spacey chameleon voice. "In the Club" boasts a perfect replica of Marc Bolan's stoned purr, while the deadpan take on Bow Wow Wow's cover of "I Want Candy" recalls Beck's zombie croon. The goofy random noise of "Lice in the Rainbow" is icing on this odd, tasty cake.

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