A Study In Her

(Honest In Secret 2001)A Study In Her - Dialogic

Mixing the rapid drum beats with A Study In Her's Costas Nakassis' soft vocals, reminiscent of Cibo Matto, with other lead vocalist Justin Moyer, "Dialogic" is essentially, at its core, an album of vocals and percussion. Atmospheric and sometimes acoustic, A Study In Her rarely alter their style as they indulge in twelve songs rarely under five or six minutes long.

Easing in slowly, "14 in 15" opens with, more or less, only drum machine beats before soft but indistinguishable, droning vocals are added. The more melodic "Wrung Rough" speeds up and slows down between verses and an interlude of carousel-like music. "A Reduction" uses more rapid beats and plinking piano on Nakassis' "part" of the song while screaming but subdued male vocals follow before the song relies more on the electronics. "Tropes on Television," with a less structured electronic rock sound, helps to add some variety to the album.

The band explores a more minimalist side with the atmospheric "Analytic of Finitude" before turning more upbeat and actually getting your attention with "Guide to Treatment and Prevention." Keeping it simple, "Speech Generic" is made up of piano, drum beats and vocals to create a jazzy feel. "The Figure of Finitude" returns to the somewhat droning style but relies too heavily on the same electronic rhythms that had made up the whole track. "Tropes in Time" and "Addressing and Addressed" are both soft, the prior spacey, the latter a bit of a garbled acoustic recording. The album closes, uneventfully, with "The Thought of Finitude," made up of a mixture of sounds, like running water, and a short lived indie rock tune.

With most tracks clocking in at over five minutes, the songs have too much dead time as most start slow and never build to anything. Similarly, the repetitive use of the drum machine and song structure tends to be unengaging. A Study In Her are writing melodic, atmospheric songs that just need to focus more. "Dialogic" is one of those albums where either it works for you or it does not.