November 9, 2006

NOMO's New Tones

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NOMO is the latest new thing to come out of the Midwest, but what’s inside this beautiful-designed album is really nothing too original — although there’s no reason to complain. The big band’s debut, New Tones, commercially dubbed “explosive homemade Detroit funk,” is really the standard large jazz ensemble with a few years of electronic and technological progress on their side. With enough horns, strings, and other instrumental chaos to give it melodic energy, and a tight rhythm section that gives the jams their backbone, NOMO plays the jazz any long-time fan would enjoy, adding a flash of innovative brilliance here and there in their production and implementation of electronica.
What they’re missing is the diversity, and most likely, experience to keep a full-length album like New Tones fresh and consistently interesting. The funk seems to start smelling a little, well, funky — a liability I’m sure further releases will fix.