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Beautiful Loneliness
Artist: Travail
Label: Meterovox
Length: 13 Tracks
Running Time: 51:17

Beautiful Loneliness, the collected works of Travail, has all the sonic form of Korn and a dozen other trend-metal acts put through a particularly unforgiving CCM meat-grinder. The songs are all fairly indistinct from one another, most being a hodgepodge of crudely mashed hip-hop beats, down-tuned guitar, hardcore aggression and other assorted nu-metalisms. Vocalist Matt has a predictable range, from a pseudo-comic whine, to a Jonathon Davis roar that shows some potential. Unfortunately, he has little solid musical support. Song structures are weak, the rhymes are clumsy and the instruments pack all the punch of flat coke. Simply put, there is nothing remarkable or even memorable.

Worse still are the lyrics. The devil-bashing in "A Song for My Friend" is comically grating enough ("We can't fall with the devil/ Got to whack him with a shovel"), but this descends into the awkward Sunday-school couplets of "Devastated," which sacrifice any intelligent connection with the listener in favor of simple rhymes:

A selfish man by God was sent to the great Ninevah
Preaching to repent
To be destroyed in 40 days if not turning from their wicked ways
A false belief by all displayed
Compassionate God, His wrath delayed
Elsewhere, Travail try their hand at metaphor, which results in the absurdly funny lines from "And So I Was Thinking:"
There's a dead cat in a box
On the ground beside me
Is it a metaphor of my flesh
In this house of ill repute
Or is it just a dead cat in a box
On the ground beside me
With no meaning at all
In a world that has no meaning
The best lyrics on the album are the opening lines of "When I Fall" that, by abandoning the corny rhymes and devil-bashing of elsewhere, make a simple but powerful connection:
When I fall are your hands waiting for me
Just before I hit the ground
Or are you sick of me doing the same thing
Over and over again that your anger bleeds from you
Like an open wound
Unfortunately, this mutates into a teeth-grating tribute to Luti-Kriss and an unnamed girl back home, awash with poor grammar and forced rhymes. Music as derivative and third-rate as this can't compete with even the poorest rock acts in the mainstream.

Shelby Foster 11/18/2001



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