DJ Harry had already scored points for cleverness when he touched up String Cheese Incident in a 2001 full-length remix. Mating jam bands and electronic dance music has always had a kind of "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" quality to it. That fusion, "organica" -- dig the term, by the way -- colors more than just the edges of Harry's latest project, Collision. Song titles like "Aquarium Man" and "Send In the Clowns" wouldn't look out of place scribbled on your stoner friend's Phish tape, and the guitar work that bookends "Monkfish" evokes Trey, if for only a few moments.
Disappointingly, though, Collision's good first impressions lead to a sloppy second half. DJ Harry seems most in command when he's at ease and acting noirish. "Shadows," the top track, is crisp and clean, as is "Tragedy in Blue" -- right up until the cheesy "steppin' out" Broadway horns kick in and ruin the damn thing.
"All My Life," the album's touted collaboration with vocalist Lissie, aims for a Morcheeba vibe but falls well short. Lissie's got the pouty thing down -- one of several viable approaches for the trip-hop female singer, including, but not limited to breathy (Morcheeba), eerie (Portishead) and creamy (Dido). Compared to Morcheeba diva Sky Edwards, Lissie sounds just a bit, um, drunk. And less assured in spite of that. Enjoy what Collision has to offer; fade to a different jam by track six.
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