Busy Signals Pure Energy

The Busy Signals (actually a one-man project) have managed to delight an ever-widening audience with their two albums of cut-and-paste bubblegum pop music that has found them compared to Beck, Eels and even a few of the Elephant 6 bands. But the initial promise has more or less been undone with this premature collection of odds and ends. Pure Energy is basically a five-track EP with some rare tracks and remixes thrown in to pad it out to album proportions, except it isn’t — even with 12 songs, it still only clocks in at 36 minutes. And considering that there are three or four songs that could easily be described as filler (including some utterly disposable instrumentals like "Cans”), there really isn’t much here that could be called essential or even necessary. The strongest material is two of the new tracks, "Friend Of A Friend” and "Autopilot,” both of which feature guest vocalists (Har Mar Superstar and Phonte, respectively), perhaps suggesting that a continued collaboration is definitely the way to head for the band, because the one-man material just isn’t very interesting any more. Unless you are a huge fan of the band, there just isn’t enough good new material on Pure Energy to recommend it. (Sugar Free)