Thu May 15 1997
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>0/5
Still Waters (Polydor)
The Bee Gees still sound like singing sheep, inherently weird enough that, despite the bland backing tracks, their records are never boring. None of the songs is as exciting as "You Should Be Dancing" or as lovely as "Holiday," but the single "Alone" could almost be ELO. Still Waters sounds expensive, like New Order used to, so it's great for synesthetically making your apartment look better. The music is mostly easy listening, so it would be fine for making your supermarket look better, too. Although the Bee Gees describe their music as R&B or soul, there's little evidence of that on this CD.
A cappella sections on several songs showcase the brotherly harmonies for which the Gibbs are famous. But the extreme vibrato, conspiratorial whispering (they sometimes sound like they're jogging in place while singing) and odd accents often make it hard to tell what they're singing. And when you can, it's often "poetry in motion" or "I just want to get close to you," disappointing for the band that gave us "Red Chair, Fade Away." Over-the-top ballads such as "I Could Not Love You More" are the most successful songs here, because they're funny, intentionally or not. Most of the melodies are not immediately memorable (of course they'll get stuck in your head, but not till the fifth listen), so the album just bubbles along pleasantly. There are no surprises, and certainly no risks or innovations. The Bee Gees are certainly good at what they do, but one wishes they'd stretch a bit.