Rogue Wave have offered their tracks to a string of hit American TV shows, including Heroes, Scrubs and The O.C. These shows are popular as they appeal to a certain fan base, who have a clear view on what they want. The same can be said for Rogue Wave. If listeners like the first couple of tracks on ‘Asleep At Heaven’s Gate, their second album, then they will pretty much like the album as a whole. It’s a different direction; but the right one.
The album is consistent in its sound, shifting from their previous affections and taking it to a guitar/keyboard hybrid with layered vocals. The first track ‘Harmonium’ sets the pace for the album, using strings wisely and adding a certain energy to the six minutes.
‘Chicago x 12’ uses percussion, and cleverly changes the pitch with well-placed sound effects through to a strong conclusion. ‘Fantasies’ is another example of the band changing sound mid-way through a track. To begin with come the soothing harmonies and an acoustic riff, but later arrive the heavier drums that stop a listener from getting bored.
The tracks towards the end of the album are not as strong as those at the beginning. ‘Cheaper Than Therapy’ doesn’t really deliver the big ending that you find yourself hoping for; this could be down to clever production, but you do feel a little short-changed. ‘Phonytown’ seems to be a filler, taking over five minutes to meander to its conclusion.
These don’t take away from the album as a whole though; the change of sound works for Rogue Wave, and (if they’re willing) it will not be surprising to see their works chosen for more TV soundtracks in the future.