The Belated

“One in a Million” by the Belated, from You Will All Fade Away:

The Belated’s new album is summed up by the title of its final track: “Trying Too Hard.” Regardless, You Will All Fade Away contains fleeting glimpses of the Kansas City band’s indie-rock potential.

Driving refrains on both “One in a Million” and “Freedom in the Underworld” induce head bobbing; “Dream” and “Glory Angel” achieve a Muse-y kind of catchiness. But too often the Belated’s music aims to be epic — it sure owes a lot to Jeff Buckley — and ends up falling flat with singer and guitarist Michael Richardson’s voice. Simply turning Richardson’s vocals down and everything else up may have helped this recording.

When he’s not singing, cool instrumentals, such as Jason Ulanet’s piano melody on “Breathing Down the Door,” really stand out. Richardson, who sounds at times like Steven Page from Barenaked Ladies, does OK when he controls his pipes. That is, when he doesn’t try to hold notes out too long or show off his vibrato. Leave that to American Idol contestants.

Categories: Music