Monday, October 13, 2008

Fear of Heights

Simultaneously silly and tremendously irritating, Fear of Heights rose to minor stardom on the strength of an out-of-left field hit that somehow struck a chord with the buying public and produced a Top 40 hit. Sometimes record companies can successfully hype an album or a single enough that it attracts the attention of a few influential critics, who by granting their approval, will single-handedly ensure for the lucky group a certain amount of commercial success by default. The label put money in the hands of enough king-makers to give Fear of Heights a notable critical reception at least for its debt album.

Milking the new wave formula of jittery, jerky tempos and distinctive, albeit out of tune lead vocals they sound exactly like the Talking Heads. No one is sure whether this was a strategic move to copy David Byrne's formula or merely a decision made due to the band's inability to formulate its own unique sound. The music press has been known to fawn over certain bands, often coming across as nonsensical and downright sycophantic in its rationale for lavishing this degree of adoration. Fear of Heights remain a critic's darling, though many observers fail to understand why.

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