Listen Up: Wednesday, August 20, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Frolic

Beaten — The Black and Blue Album (Self-released)

By Vic Drabicky

Usually, writing a c.d. review is pretty straightforward — either the music strikes a chord with you early on and the review pretty much writes itself, or the thing is so bad that you accidentally leave town and miss your deadline just to avoid having to write a review of a disc best used as a coaster. However, there is that disc that occasionally comes along that you listen to from beginning to end and still have little to say about. Enter Frolic’s sophomore effort, Beaten — The Black and Blue Album.

After listening to Beaten, I felt as if I had just had a 40-minute conversation with a schizophrenic — sometimes the album is in your face, Deftone-esque hard rock; other times, it is more melodic, Creed With Arms Wide Open, Top-40 pop. Despite Frolic’s earnest attempts to have it both ways, the resulting songs — poorly structured, lyrically lifeless — do little to convince listeners that this band is strong enough to live in two genres at once.

Beaten opens with the hard-hitting “So Afraid,” a song that finds the band so tentative, both vocally and instrumentally, that listeners may not be convinced to pay attention. Two better but still unconvincing melodic ditties follow, then there’s another hard-hitting track, then melodic, then hard hitting. The agony ends with the piano-driven, nearly eight-minute (including a two-minute interlude) “Tuesday.” The back and forth makes enduring the disc a jagged and difficult experience. It may leave even the most experienced listener struggling to figure out what kind of band Frolic really is.

But not all on Beaten is lost. The disc definitely shows improvement over the band’s debut album Everything Must Burn (which, incidentally, makes a great coaster), and a song like “All The Time” looks promising, if Frolic decides to go heavy. Meanwhile, something like “The Waiting is Over” would be a good entrée into adult-alternative rock, if Frolic decided to go that way.


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