The first full length album The Virgins composed had a 90’s rock feel to it that was up-beat and energetic. Their new album seems to have jumped back a couple generations into the 70’s. This change in style/genre from album to album surprised me; they have succeeded at emulating a sound from the 70’s, with a progressive flair complete with a full vocal change and instrument tone down.
In “Flashbacks, Memories, and Dreams” you find a glimpse of the traditional band, but for the most part the lead singer Donald Cummings seems to have scrapped everything that was the old band and tried something new.
New doesn’t necessarily mean better. Although their sound shifted significantly from a Smash Mouth-esque 90’s rock to something reminiscent of Pink Floyd, they have nothing to offer as far as originality or distinction.
In its entirety, Strike Gently is an album that’s better listened to with a herbal additive. There are mellow tones and smooth rhythm that will soothe you right into a summer afternoon, but any track you listen to won’t be memorable and will fade into the background.
This mediocrity in sound also comes through in the lyrics with nothing to write about other than failed love, teenage years and a load of cliches, there’s nothing exciting, new, or inspirational about this album that warrants a purchase.
Although I’m not elated with the package that is the “Strike Gently” album their efforts still ring positive on a few notes. In their previous album it was for the most part, cut and dry recorded track by track and mixed. In the new album they recorded together as a band – in most cases, this is a bad thing, but not here.
This style of recording gives the whole feel of the album a live ambiance, and it really works well with the new style they have fashioned. There is a substantial amount of audio that is detected by different microphones not intended to be picked up.
They were on the brink of something special. A lyrical makeover that consisted of more than failed relationships and “could have beens” is a good place to start. Also, reverting back to the vocal style that Donald Cummings had on their previous record could help. Let’s face it, unless you are Bob Dylan or Roger Waters this type of vocal range doesn’t work.
Though I am not a fan of the new album I do think that in time when “The Virgins” figure out what they want as a band, they will have an opportunity to find some true success.