Bob Holroyd A Different Space

You've probably noticed an upturn in "world-music-y" commercials from Y2K onwards, peaking with the Olympics. You know, those ads that feature African percussion, generic "foreign-sounding" vocals and some lame-ass, "we are all one" slogan for computers or cars. A Different Space is a perfect fit for those ads. It sounds lush and multi-textured, but it is utterly devoid of meaningful content. Deft percussion loops, atmospheric trumpet or guitar solos and lots of plush textures work fine as ingredients, but as songs they're right up there with Enigma in terms of overall impact. Sure, I'm prejudiced against dreamy synth-scapes and million-dollar reverb, but by those standards there's a lot to hate here. A Different Space doesn't sound like an experiment at all; the drippy melodies are a signature of half-baked pop the world over. If it had the archly sugared feeling of, say, Hong Kong pop it might get by on kitsch, but no, this is a deadly serious statement in easy listening. Holroyd's CD is just a pastiche of expensive sounding ingredients, neither convincing as dance music or worldly ambience. Stay away! (Six Degrees)