Ailyne - The Masquerade
Record Label: None
Release Date: May 14, 2008
I've been fighting in my head about what I wanted to write in this review. I was going to try to open with some sort of devilishly clever line about how generic The Masquerade really is. Then I thought that maybe it would be better to sweep that fact under the rug and give the band slight praise for the finer things on this album, like how infectiously catchy it is. Needless to say, I ended up with this, and I couldn't be happier with the way I started this review.
To be perfectly honest, this release feels like it could be the demos off of a Mercy Mercedes album. There isn't anything that puts them ahead or behind of the rest of the bands that fall under the electronic-infused pop category. Ailyne fall in the dead middle of the massive spectrum. I personally believe that there is no worse place to be. Normally, those are the bands that seem to get left behind, the bands on either end of spectrum seem to get noticed.
With all of this said, they do use electronic equipment very well. Their use of auto-tune to distort the singers voice adds a slightly interesting feel, in vein of The Secret Handshake. They do seem to overuse the synthesizer as it feels like they keep reusing the exact same scale with it. Where the miss the mark in this category lies with the musicianship. While it's not particularly bad, the way the common instruments (guitars, drums, and bass) fit with the electronic ones doesn't feel right. Better production probably would have fixed this problem, but for this EP, it creates for a bit of an awkward listening experience.
When it's all said and done, The Masquearde is filled to the brim with energetic and catchy pop songs. It is a fun listen, but other than that, this EP doesn't really bring much to the table. If Ailyne want something to separate them from the rest of the electronic-pop pack, they're going to need to add a lot more thought and creativity to their music. In the end, it's good, but not nearly good enough.