I JUST NEED SOMEONE TO TELL ME HOW TALL I AM
Review: South Florida's Entertainment News & Views
By Lee Zimmerman
British rock and Americana are worlds away, but when the young English ensemble who call themselves Minibar relocated to sunny California in 2000, the two worlds merged into a mellow soft-rock amalgam that won critical kudos via their debut album Road Movies. Now, two years after that initial effort, the band returns to the boards with Fly Below the Radar, a beguiling set of songs that shows the band's continuing fascination with America (both the country and the band), Crosby, Stills and Young and other West Coast '70s standard-bearers.
With a sound that's drenched in acoustic guitars, dashes of pedal steel and the aching, melancholy vocals of lead singer Simon Petty, Minibar is one of those bands that's perfect for Sunday mornings and rainy day afternoons, songs that are so gentle and soothing they barely make a rustle. There are exceptions--the circular-sounding "It Is What It Is," the up-tempo title track in particular--but overall it's a lilting approach thatís more soothing than moving. Pretty, meandering ballads like "Unstoppable" dominate the set, not surprising considering the names given many of the tracks--"Breathe Easy," "Fragile," "New Mexico"--more or less hint at the subtle ambiance.
While other bands feel compelled to strut their edge and aggression, Minibar displays a quiet confidence that should bode well for their future career course. With an approach that celebrates quiet contemplation, Minibar is a band well worth considering.
From South Florida's Entertainment News & Views