Rainbow Arabia: Boys and Diamonds

15 Jun

Such is the exotic, multi-cultural appeal derived from Boys And Diamonds that it would be very tempting to begin this review with an indulgent, slightly over the top narrative of  descriptive imagery, so lets not go there (although naively the first 1 or 2 drafts say otherwise).  But at the very least Rainbow Arabia will induce an urge to be in the open air amongst like minded people and preferably a cold drink at arm’s length, certainly on the first listen anyway.

This, the third release from the wed locked Los Angeles duo, (Matthew and Tiffany Preston) is a master class in sound technician with an almost obsessive attention to detail that manages to curb the slippery slopes of over production.  There are similarities to the Arabian/Oriental flirtations expressed by Siouxsie and the Banshees and even the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s most recent output, but in particular The Knife, emitting strong comparisons both musically and vocally, albeit on a lighter, worldlier note.

There’s plenty of reverb injected into her more than capable voice, but the concession should be made that in terms of pure brass, vocal attitude, Mrs Preston is perhaps better suited along side Shakira than say, Karen O.  But don’t let that put you off.  In fact, what might put you off is that from the opening title track you may think for a split second that you’ve been transported to an all singing all dancing stage performance of the Lion King, or a tribal welcome party in the heart of Africa.  The feeling of being subjected to an exotic travel commercial never entirely filters, but more over and perhaps more disappointingly, an issue of motive develops asking which is more important for this couple, making music or being cool?  This may appear a little too harsh for what is essentially an enjoyable album, but from this, perhaps overly cynical critic, it’s pop in denial.


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