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Ameaba Ameaba

Taken in pieces, Ameaba's debut disc shows great promise, delivering beautifully sparse downtempo that blends jazz and soul. Unfortunately, there are plenty of not-so-great parts, too. While opener "As You Are" is heartbreaking in its understatement, "Totally Cold" gets ruined by the lyrics, which writhe with middle school angst. Occasionally things go off-kilter, as on "Ride With Me," where the scratching sounds shoehorned in and doesn't add anything; "Won't Be This" is simply boring (although "Salty Tears" has great, winding female vocals). Overly long tracks and a lack of range don‘t help this album, which is as shapeless as the amoeba after which it's named.

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