Morningbell Through The Belly Of The Sea

Not quite a concept album, Morningbell’s third record features the novel idea of being a Choose Your Own Adventure album. Just like the similarly titled books, Through The Belly Of The Sea features choices in the booklet that dictate the sequence the songs should be listened in. Or to put it another way, it is like listening to a CD in a random order that isn’t exactly random. However, it is nothing but a gimmick and not a very good one. The problem is that there isn’t enough of a story to unite the songs in the way that is implied and when left to stand on their own two feet, most of them fade away into ordinariness. Their best attempts at indie pop fall flat — maybe if they surrendered to the more psychedelic touches that rear their head from time to time they’d be a lot more interesting. As it is, Through The Belly is just a little too dull musically and the supposed hook of having many different stories to be discovered falls flat. It’s a real shame. (Orange)