By Jaime Burnet
Here’s a new CD for those of you who like The Tea Party! This band writes like The Tea Party, rocks like The Tea Party and has the same trademark sexy vocals as Tea Party frontman Jeff Martin. Oh wait, it is The Tea Party! Basically, if you liked their past work, you will most likely enjoy Seven Circles, and if you didn’t, then there really isn’t anything on this disc to change your mind.
The radio-friendly, rock recipe that created “Writing’s On The Wall” is disappointingly generic. Thankfully, tracks like the pretty, synth-infused “Stargazer”, and the well-woven duet between Martin and Canadian Holly McNarland on “Wishing You Would Stay” step in to save the day. One oddity, though, is “Empty Glass”, in which Martin, drummer Jeff Burrows, and bassist Stuart Chatwood, decide David Bowie’s Major Tom needs to be serenaded again and pleaded with to save our souls by means of what else? Ground control.
There doesn’t seem to be much growth or progress by the band, who has apparently resolved not to fuck with a formula which has served them well so far. The formula is simple: Haunting lyrics + mysterious middle eastern percussion + distorted guitar + string section + sexy, sexy voice = Tea Party: Past, Present, and Future. Soon the band will be able to type this formula into their laptop and instantly have a new album without any toil or trouble.