Dustin Cole with the Specialest Try and Love Me

Hmmm, sometimes it’s best not to title your album as a dare. I don’t like pleas, either. While you won’t fall head over heels in love with this interesting duo, there is still an interesting combination of glitch, ambient and generally downbeat electronic backing to the low-key vocals. Think of the Postal Service but without the rich voice of Ben Gibbard. To be fair, Dustin Cole has a lovely voice but it comes across as little deadpan in relation to the wonderfully inventive electronics of the Specialest, or Lane Arndt. And really, that’s the main problem with this debut, as it seems to weigh heavily on Arndt’s side, rather than Cole’s. From the original "Once” to the quirky backing of "To Fall,” Arndt plays with various genres and beats to keep things perfectly measured, or so that they never get too manic or drowsy. While Cole is the voice and gives the listener the human connection, it feels like the electronic backing drives the curiosity. While this is an intriguing duo, the real fireworks only fly from the aptly named Specialest. (Scratch)