>Dead Man’s Bones at the Opera House; Tuesday October 20, 2009
Movie stars generally have a difficult time breaking it in the music scene. They face harsh judgements and impressions from their already acquainted audience. Judgements aside, their film career serves as a terrific platform to jumpstart a career of new sorts, with a dedicated fan base at hand. Ryan Gosling has done just that.
Gosling is a celebrity that has lived ten lives before the age of thirty. He was a mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club, high school geek on the brilliant Canadian show Breaker High and most recently, heartthrob in the Notebook. His diverse catalogue makes it difficult to pin point the form his music takes. I must warn, listening to it doesn’t make this task any easier.
Just in time for Halloween Gosling and best friend Zach Shields performed the bizarre album titled Dead Man’s Bones. They use a children’s choir to serve as the supporting vocals, recorded it comes off charming amidst Gosling’s melancholic vocals. In their recent tour through North America they sought out local children’s choirs to perform in their own city. The kids of a Roncesvalles middle school were dressed in skeleton wear with makeup caked on to their faces.
The music they make was nothing to rave about. They’re cute ditties that were written to sound like something from fifty years ago. Unfortunately, on their own they weren’t able to create this consistently. The accessible tunes on the album were done tremendously well – “My Heart is a Zombie for You” and show closer “Paper Ships”. In both tunes they required heavy participation between the audience and the crowd. The men were not able to carry it on their own. Additionally, they used a powerhouse black woman to make their sound more intense. I have no idea what her name is but she had a beautiful voice that gave their music some much needed complexity.
I think that is Dead Man’s Bones greatest fault. They simple don’t have enough going for them. Using the children’s choir idea will be absolutely charming for one tour, but’ll lose its momentum after a second go round. This album is the perfect Halloween album, but its shelf life is purely seasonal. After Halloween this album is not going to get much play.