[sic] Magazine

The American Dollar – Atlas

The press release that accompanies The American Dollar ‘s new album Atlas trumpets the fact that their music has been used to soundtrack CSI: Miami and the George Clooney movie Up In The Air. Laudable, sure, but rather telling, too. While I can imagine TAD’s music working well to accompany scenes of cops scrutinising evidence or George Clooney looking detached and dishy, without such visual ‘stimulation’, the music on Atlas feels woefully bereft.

While there’s no doubt that John Emanuele and Richard Cupolo are talented dudes, I simply don’t dig what they’re doing here. Somehow the whole hour’s worth of music on Atlas just passes me by. It doesn’t engage, and when it does, it’s because I can’t believe they intentionally made the guitars sound like Mike Oldfield . There’s no sense of the songs developing – they just hang their like distant clouds. Beats, piano and guitar come and go. You can’t ignore what’s going on, but it’s damn hard to engage with it.

I’m eager to check out TAD’s other albums, mainly to see if this new release is a mis-step for them. They’ve recorded four albums and garnered a decent amount of praise elsewhere. However, based on the evidence displayed on Atlas, I’d steer clear of The American Dollar.

Atlas is out now on Yesh Music .