Sep 2011 26

Everpresent - PhoenixEverpresent
Category: Electro-pop
Album: Phoenix
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: A concise bit of electro-pop that shows a slickness of sound and style, but whose power is ultimately set to a mild stun.


Matthew Cahoon has spent the last half-decade under the radar honing his songwriting skills in Everpresent, his primary musical outlet. Since the band’s inception, it has transformed from an artsy gothic drone to melodic synthpop to its current incarnation of being pure, unabashed electro-pop. With the band’s latest release, Phoenix rises indeed as its title suggests from the ashes of its past to create a concise and coherent cornucopia of catchy bass lines, blissful melodies, replete with groovy beats and a hint of the ethnic for added flavor.

Beginning with “Feel,” the album kicks in with good energy as a bit of bouncy electro complemented by a jangling acoustic guitar leads into Cahoon’s silky smooth vocals. The song builds to a nice melodic climax that would’ve been nice to see developed a little more to give the song more of an epically danceable feel; alas, it’s the second shortest song on the album and is over far too soon. Thus begins the main flaw of Phoenix: none but one of the tracks even reach four minutes in length, all building up their atmospheres and melodies effectively, but then ending rather briefly and leaving the listener wanting more… but not fulfilled. This writer couldn’t help but think to himself that’s it? after each song. As stated, certain songs possess a hint of the ethnic, particularly in “Take Me,” on which Yeshiva’s backup vocals along with the energetic percussion give the song a vibe befitting belly dancers and snake charmers. The same can be said for “Darklight,” the album’s kickoff single, which best exemplifies Cahoon’s ear for the sensual; indeed, one can imagine this song being on the radio in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s with its subtle electro pulse and R&B cadence. Other songs like “If You Knew” and “Haunt Me” take a darker and more upbeat approach, reaching for the dance floor with a mix of mild breaks and throbbing bass beats while still enticing with their layers of male and female vocals making for a dynamic performance. But again, it’s all over too soon, and while some would argue that the short length of the songs keeps them from outstaying their auditory welcome, it leaves more a sense of empty wanting rather than satisfied yearning. The only song that doesn’t suffer from this is “Rain,” which at six-and-a-half-minutes is the longest track on Phoenix, and with its bluesy ambience and somber vocal interplay reminiscent of Sade is one of the album’s strongest songs. “Rain” would not be out of place on the soundtrack to some ‘80s neo-noir film or television show. Overall, Phoenix is a significant stepping stone for Everpresent, achieving a slickness of style and sound that rises above what the band has achieved up to now with songs that are appealing on an emotional level. At the same time, the music tends to stay in a plateau of comfort that begins nicely and very quickly becomes inert. One would hope that perhaps in a live setting Matthew Cahoon and company could take these songs into a higher power level and give the songs a little more time to breathe and grow.

Track list:

  1. Feel
  2. Take Me
  3. If You Knew
  4. Dream
  5. Resurgence
  6. Darklight
  7. Rain
  8. Haunt Me

Everpresent Website
Everpresent MySpace
Everpresent Facebook
Everpresent Twitter
Artistik Soul Productions MySpace
Artistik Soul Productions Facebook

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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