by Myles Tiessen
Number One is a dreamy, heavily electronic reconstruction of pop music. Littered with industrial influences and, at times, hyper pop motifs, the debut album of Carlyn Bezic, aka Jane Inc, is one hell of a statement.
As one half of the band Ice Cream and a member of U.S. Girls, Bezic is a veteran on the Canadian music scene and has the talent and means to create an album just the way she wants, and Number One is the first look at that creative vision.
Sounding sometimes like Psychedelic Furs, other times like Phoenix or Bowie, Number One takes influence from everything. Each song utilizes compelling drumming patterns blended together with ridiculously unique synthesizers, all in the service of creating a platform for Bezic’s vocals to float above.
“Faceless, Bodiless” might be one of the best tracks. A repetitive instrumental with the aforementioned drumming and synths create a meditative experience, locking you into the song. The melodies overtop of a vocal sample create a certain SCI-FI quality, making it feel like an artificially intelligent DJ produced this song in 2130.
Number One starts strong, and the first few tracks are clear standouts. “Gem” has an incredibly groovy bass-line that keeps the song clipping along, and the beginning of “Bloom Becomes Me” even sounds like the theme to a Canadian Heritage Minute. Sadly, the song goes downhill from there. It turns repetitive and feels longer than its four-minute run time.
As the album continues, there are standout tracks like “My Oldest Friend,” but the monotony and one-trick nature of the album become dull. The once welcomed meditative experience turns sour, and the tracks begin to blur together and become indistinguishable. Don’t get me wrong, the album has its moments, and the highs can be incredibly high, but damn, are the lows low.
With Number One, Bezic isn’t afraid to take risks. The album sounds great and has some genuinely very unique moments. However, It overstays its welcome and loses its compelling aspects.