Dyed Emotions: "Art of Regret" Now Available ... Dyed Emotions (Official Site) Lost Key Records



theboisebeat.com 08/31/07 – 09/06/07

Dyed Emotions - Fortune Teller

The Local Buzz - Song of the Week

Written by Stephanie May -  E-mail to a friend

Photo by Chandra Bursik/Arn Poe

I tend to regret that I wasn't old enough in the '80s to really enjoy the music, movies, and day-glo. I have two older sisters that actually warped me in a good way as a child by surrounding me with Duran Duran, The Cure, and INXS. Since I'm a music-memorabilia-nerd, they've given me all the ticket stubs from the Thompson Twins and Howard Jones concerts they went to at my age, leaving me wishing I had actually been there. It also leaves me wishing there were new bands with that distinct '80s sound, that I could see live. With the current comeback albums and tours of '80s icons aside, few modern albums can truly boast that specific sound that lets you know with the first keytar stroke that it was created in the '80s. When I stumbled across Dyed Emotions on Myspace I was, I'll admit, really excited and still am. I found a band that makes me want to crimp my hair and peg my pants, and feel like I might as well be at those concerts alongside my sisters.
Dyed Emotions is composed of Arn Poe (keyboards, vocals, guitar and bass), Michael Raven (vocals, keyboards, bass), and Chris Groom (guitar, backing vocals). Half of the group resides in Payette, Idaho, while the other calls Washington home. Although their songs have that '80s feel to them, they don't want to be lumped solely into the 'synth-pop' genre. "Synthesizers are the predominant instruments," notes Poe, "but [Dyed Emotions] doesn't get caught up in the race to find the coolest analog bleep or sampled loop." The group works hard to incorporate Groom's Seattle-infused riffing into their '80s sound. There is a wide range of feelings expressed in Art of Regret, Dyed Emotions' new album hitting shelves Tuesday, September 4th. The CD bounces around from pop to electronica, to post-punk to goth and, as Poe puts it, "[is] a soundtrack for roadtrips through dying or desolate towns...definitely not a dance album." 

And don't be fooled by the Depeche Mode-esque exterior. According to Poe, "We've been compared to Depeche Mode a bit...though we appreciate the connection, Dyed Emotions does their best to create original songs rather than thinly veiled tributes to our favorite artists." Enough said.

If you're into: New Order, Depeche Mode, The Church

Straight from the band:
"'Fortune Teller' was written while Poe was dating a tarot reader whose life seemed to be dictated by cartomancy, astrology, cledonomancy, numerology and opinionated friends...it is a song pleading for her to make up her mind. Like most Dyed Emotions songs, it employs obscure symbolism and an underlying theme similar to a Qawwali 'Ghazal.'"
Find Dyed Emotions' albums on amazon.com and on Tuesday check cdbaby.com and itunes.com . For more information and songs from the new album, go to www.myspace.com/dyedemotions .



Not bad, December 9, 2006 
This is a pretty decent album from a relatively unknown group. Sounds similar to Depeche Mode and New Order. Some of the patterns used in the tunes are a bit repetitive and mechanical at times, but I didn't notice right away. I like that the lyrics are somewhat vague. It gives me the chance to formulate what I want the song to be about as opposed to it being shoved down my throat. I'd be interested to see how they could pull off a live performance... - MusicLover (Seattle)

An excellent introduction to Modern Synthpop!, May 16, 2001 - (Jason Baker, (Cullman, AL USA))

I have to give some background information about myself, at the start of this. I am admittedly OMD-ignorant. Sure, I've heard "If You Leave" (Who Hasn't?), but the rest of these songs are totally unfamiliar to me. It's embarrassing to admit, but on Color Theory's recent limited promotional album, Perfect For Awhile, I mistook "Hold You" for a original song! However, eventually I was enlightened. I guess that means you're getting a truly objective opinion on the songs!  The compilation starts off in excellent style, with the progression of such synthpop stars as Color Theory, Cosmicity, and rising stars Ganymede and Intact. And the quality is consistent, as even the unknown (to me) bands turn in excellent performances! Ganymede start out the compilation with "Messages", and their version features synthesized vocals throughout. While I really love Ganymede's old-school brand of electronics, I really wish that the vocals hadn't been distorted the whole way through the track. It's just this side of overkill, y'know? Color Theory follow up with a jazzy-ish version of "Hold You", complete with what sounds like a plucked bass. The track is given a real genuine CTheory feel though, which probably contributed to my confusion... Cosmicity's version of "Bloc Bloc Bloc" also appeared on his excellent recent remix album "ReSynthesized". It leads in with a really awesome bass synth sound, and evolves into a absolutely addictive song! This is Cosmicity at it's danciest, and a track not to be missed! Intact are recent newcomers on the synthpop scene, but a very strong debut album has gained them a sizeable following rapidly. And their cover of "Secret" is just a impressive as their original material. Done in a classic 80's romantic synth style, the track really impresses, especially with the echo-y synth in the background during the verses, which sounds almost like a female backing vocal. Excellent! Electrosquad have just released their second album, "Operation: K", which I haven't had a chance to hear yet. They use some really cool and interesting synth sounds here in the track, and the subdued approach of the vocalist seems to fit the track really well.  Dark Distant Spaces follow with a excellent version of "We Love You". While I'm not very familiar with this bands original output, this is a really grand track! Some cool synthwork, strong vocals and excellent harmonies in the choruses make this song unforgettable.  I wasn't sure what to expect with House Of Wires' version of "The Beginning And The End". Their original work can at times be very much a acquired taste, and so I wasn't sure just what approach they would take with this song. It's actually a rather understated track, surprisingly ambient friendly, with a touch of bass guitar. I guess I'm learning to expect the unexpected when it comes to HOW, but I really liked this surprise! The Faint is a totally new band to me, and they offer up a cover of "Enola Gay". It's lo-fi old-school synthpop in the same vein as Freezepop or Ganymede, however the vocal recording quality leaves something to be desired. It's a bit hard to understand the vocalist, with them being as murky as they are. Other than that, the track is really fun. Colecovision is a band I'm vaguely familiar with,..., I think. Their cover of "Joan Of Arc" is short, but so was the original.. I think. I really like the female vocalist here, as she's one of the few presented on the compilation. The song itself is short and sad, and the band coveys the emotions inherent in the song very well. The Virgins are another new band to me, and they contribute a cover of "Dream Of Me". I really find myself not caring for this track too much, without being able to pin a reason down. I think some of that may be due to the vocalist, whom I really don't think I care for too much.  This track is the first I've heard from Liquid Fiction since their excellent debut album, and they have the daunting task to cover the same tune as Apoptygma Berzerk did on thier album "7", "Electricity". For sheer power and dancablility, it would be extremely hard to top APB's version. However, LF does a really good job with a difficult task. They make the track their own, and give it a high dance appeal while doing so. Excellent! Underpass is yet another new band to me, and yet another impressive newcomer! I like the Kraftwerk-ian intro a lot, and the vocalist sounds a lot like the OMD lead singer (I think). For some reason I get the impression this is a very faithful cover of the original song, but I'm not sure. I like it, either way... Macondo follows with "Tesla Girls", a song which the meaning of totally eludes me. I don't get it! However, that opening sample is extremely infectious.. I found myself muttering that for a few hours after first hearing the song! Macondo is another new band to me, quite similar to Freezepop in some ways. I'd love to hear some original material from this band, as this cover really is addictive... I honestly think that only one cover of "If You Leave" was a really great idea. The song was played nearly to death on the radio when it came out, and has been the one song that OMD is widely known for for years. A more reserved approach fits the song well. Dyed Emotions offer up such a cover, while adding a few original touches, they leave the track mostly intact. And I think it's the best possible approach for a song such as this.  White Town, a somewhat familiar band for me, offer up the second cover of "Messages". This one is free of vocal distortion. The odd thing is, even with the slight overkill of the distortion, I still prefer Ganymede's version to this one. There's nothing really wrong with this version, it's just not as engrossing as Ganymede's version.  Carol Masters closes out the compilation with their version of "Secret", and they take a totally opposite approach to the song as Intact, making it almost a fully acoustic track. and it's actually quite nice!  Overall, this is a excellent compilation, and has convinced me I need to end my OMD ignorance. I'm going to pick up a OMD best-of or something similar ASAP...

Refreshing, June 14, 2001 - John Liosatos (Morton Grove, Illinois United States)

After enduring the drab 90's and a couple brain-dead depeche mode cd's, I thought synthpop was dying. But after hearing this cd, I'm realizing that it is not on life support, but rather flourishing. I tend to stay away from tribute albums because it's usually modern rock bands trying to cover 80's electronic groups, and it usually [isn't any good]. The bands featured here do justice to OMD classics. Two that stand out are Dyed Emotions with their version of If You Leave, and Electrosquad with a superb version of Souvenir. Since I bought this cd, I can't put it down. Carol Masters' version of Secret, however, does not belong on this cd. It's weak.

Pretty good album for the OMD fan!, May 19, 2001- Patrick D Oltraver (San Diego, CA United States) -

I am a huge OMD fan. I have collected all of their singles and albums, most of them in more than 3 formats, and have also released an OMD cover album on my own very DIY label. That album was a lot of fun and it received many mixed reviews. It's no gem, either, but it has it's moments. When I heard that a new OMD cover album was being released, I was very hopeful for the final product. I couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen. The best, most endearing aspects of OMD's sound are rolled into the successful usage of choral and string sampling, lushness of sound using analog gear, insistence on a live percussion sound (more on this later), and of course, Andy McCluskey's voice.
The new OMD cover album has about 4 tracks that contain (at the very least) two of these endearing aspects, and even less that actually add anything to the list, or are unique to the synthpop genre. Doing something new, changing a song from it's roots and making it your own are additions that would be welcome (and should be encouraged) in a cover version album.
1. Ganymede - "Messages": Great instrumental. Really full sound. The voice effects completely ruin it for me, though. 2. Color Theory - "Hold You": Something about the feel of a true sappy OMD love song is missing from this track, I think the vocals are lacking in the passion of the original, and not replaced by anything else memorable enough to flesh out the song. 3. Cosmicity - "Bloc Bloc Bloc": If OMD's first album was 'Junk Culture', and this track had been recorded during that era, this is what it would sound like. 4. Intact - "Secret": Again, great track minus vocals. Everyone wants to be Dave Gahan. 5. Electrosquad - "Souvenir": Excellent track, just a bit too reminiscent of the original, but this one's a keeper. Is that an extra note in the chorus? Nice effect. 6. Dark Distant Spaces - "We Love You": Faithful cover of the original. This track is okay, but nothing special. 7. House Of Wires - "The Beginning And The End": Unique interpretation. A bit cold, but overall a keeper. 8. The Faint - "Enola Gay": Promising intro with the disjointed samples and beats. Had me hooked and then it didn't go anywhere. It just kept going on and on with the disjointedness. Then the voice effects kick in. Yawn. Not a bad track by any means, but as a cover of one of OMD's best, I expected a little more. 9. Colecovision - "Joan of Arc": Excellent. I'm a sucker for female vocals. Lacking just a BIT of the power and emotion of the original, but good none-the-less. 10. The Virgins - "Dream Of Me:" A cover of a cover. Hmmm. I'm not a big fan of this track. Where's the lushness of the OMD version? If the lushness is intentionally left out, where's the alternate effect replacing it? 11. Liquid Fiction - "Electricity": Not quite to my liking. No energy in the vocals or the presentation. The techno beat and rhythm is straight from the OMD Singles Remixes era, and that was OMD's lowest point in my opinion. OMD didn't go there because OMD didn't need to. Rave Til Dawn! 12. Underpass - "Radio Waves": May I say, a bit too synthpop? Dump the voice box! Fun little track, I like it. Has the energy this tracks needs. 13. Macondo - "Tesla Girls: Not a big fan of this era of OMD, but this track seems to take all of the worst aspects of this era of OMD and play upon them. Nicely crafted and you will probably like it if 'Junk Culture' is your kind of OMD. Otherwise, not too memorable.
14. Dyed Emotions - "If You Leave": The song has a lot of power. If it wasn't for the weak (but not bad) vocals and the carbon copy of the original instrumental tracking, this song would be much better. 15. White Town - "Messages": This is what a cover should be. Even though the vocals are not quite my bag, they are passionate and rich. The music is transformed into a barely recognizable version of the original song. Makes you relearn what the song is about and how it feels. Excellent. 16. Carol Masters - "Secret": Fun, inventive, and NOT SYNTHPOP! Perfect. Cross that genre line and don't be afraid to stretch it or break it! Not sure what I think about the digital 'This Is All' at the end, and the main vocals are not quite to my liking, but it could grow on me. This one's okay.
Synthpop by very definition, is about the instruments used to create the music, that is a given. The acts that started Synthpop had a big challenge ahead of them. Kraftwerk had an idea and started a whole camp of synthpop bands, but sadly most of them had a hard time getting feeling into the music. Full, rich sound is hard to come by with analog synths, rhythm generators, drum machines and voice effect modules.
OMD, Depeche Mode, Erasure, Human League, New Order, Gary Numan, etc. were essential in taking synthpop and transforming it onto a fuller sounding genre. For me, the early albums by all of these bands are so dated that listening to them is a trip back in time. Don't get me wrong, they are brilliant albums, and some of them were world changing to me, but listen to 'Upstairs at Eric's' by Yaz and tell me honestly that it doesn't make you cringe at times.
OMD approached this genre using more conventional instruments along with the synth. Andy McCluskey played an electric bass. They either used a live drum kit or tweaked the drum machine sound to get an organic feel on many of their recording sessions, etc. They even took the synthpop flag by the horns a few times and went all out using a purely and undeniably electronic sound. Listen to 'Junk Culture'. Endearing isn't it? Like an early Depeche Mode album. EXCEPT, there are additions and quirks to OMD's music that made this album stand out. They drove the synthpop machine for all it was worth at this point in their careers, but 04.10.2007 14:03is dated, and not because it was a bad genre of music, but because it has grown up and is a bigger boy now. Techno, Drum & Bass, as much as I hate to use buzzwords, are where synthpop moved to when it grew up. The beats in hip hop and rap, the lushness of the music of Orbital and the Chemical Brothers, and the uniqueness and willingness to add something new to the electronic sound are all there for a reason.
Covering a strong set of material is already a daunting task and for the effort, I give all participants a big hand. Making the album memorable is another story. Besides a handful of brilliant tracks, I don't think I will play this album much more.
Blind faith in a band is an easy04.10.2007 14:03e time. I still have a hard time criticizing anything they have done. But when the OMD Singles album was released with the subsequent single remixes... C'mon! OMD was a great band, but then again, some fans will never find anything wrong with anything related to them. I have to pass on that line of thinking in submitting this review and ask for mercy from the flames!
For the most part, this album sticks to the early days of the synthpop genre like a leech. Modern Synthpop, should be just that, Modern. It sounds to me like an album of OMD's early demos. For some this may work wonders. If you rabidly enjoy 'Speak & Spell' by Depeche Mode, Yaz albums, or Kraftwerk, then by all means, go and get it! If you prefer your electronic music with a bit of heart, soul and originality, you might want to pass on this title. But then again if you are an OMD fanatic, you have to own this, no doubt about it. I preordered it, didn't I?
-Patrick Oltraver OMD Fanatic.

< back

Poe Raven Groom
arn poe
since 1997
keyboards, noisy things, vocals, bass
michael raven
since 1997
vocals, keyboards, bass, miscellaneous live instruments
chris groom
since 1997
guitars, vocals
Genghis Toad Temple
genghis vaughns
2001 - 2003
2001 - 2003
james temple
2001 - 2003
06 Nov 1999
guest keyboards, vocals


04.10.2007 14:03
Content © 1998-2007 Dyed Emotions / Lost Key Records. All Rights Reserved.