The new album, Mind Over Matter, from Solitary Experiments, picks up where 2003's Advance Into Unknown left off, but with less of the harsh electro sounds and a more futurepop sound. This double album gives you 10 new tracks on the first album and 10 live tracks of past material on the second.
The title track, "Odyssey of Mind", starts out the album and gives the listener a good representation of the album as a whole: good, undistorted vocals, strong syth structures and an up-beat tempo. "Pale Candle Light" has a pounding beat and distorted vocals like on Advance Into Unknown, but compliments the distortion with clean vocals as well; a nice blend of techniques. "Delight" is one of the catchier tracks, definitely suited to move a dancefloor. "Apologize" brings the tempo down in more of a ballad-styled song.
"Downfall" and "Still Alive", both great songs, are followed by "Counterpart", an nice instrumental track, but with a sample that was unfortunately already used in a VNV Nation song. Samples, when used well, are great additions to a song, but artists should be aware of what samples have been used by other artists. The sound of the song has a very VNV Nation feel to it, so the sample doesn't help in separating SE's sound from VNV.
"Homesick" is another dancefloor mover. "War & Peace" is next and has a great 80's-like melody to it and is my favorite song on the album, with a good beat, strong vocals and even flow.
"Self Deception" finishes the first album in good standing. Were this the end of the album, it would be more than enough, but as a bonus, you get a second cd of live tracks from past albums. The recording could be a bit better (the vocals are louder than they should be), but the songs are not lost as can happen in many live recordings. This is a great way to hear SE's older material if you are unfamiliar with it.
Overall, Mind Over Matter is a great album and continues the upward movement of Solitary Experiments in the Electro/Futurepop scene. If you are not familiar with SE, do yourself a favor and but this album.