Serena Maneesh - Sapphire Eyes
Dan Round 02/10/2006
Sapphire Eyes, the second single from Serena Maneesh, is a psychedelic yet dancey, and highly produced song with a continuous bass-line and atmospheric vocals. For all the bright lights and attempted imagery, it really doesn't impress and fizzles out before you get the chance to try and conjure up a good impression from the swirling mess of sequencing. Sounding like a second rate Spiritualized with Ibiza club vocals that come across as too distasteful and overly clustered with buzzing soundscapes, so perhaps the following remix was what they needed.
Tony Doogan's (of Mogwai fame) remix gives the song a gained edginess - rawer, less shiny production and shakey, thumping grooves cumulate in a better club feel (if that's what they wanted to achieve). It does go on for a couple of minutes too long though, as does the following Candelighted (Riton Redub), a drum-heavy sequenced ambient attempt, which in an even more spectacular way than the A-side flops, falling flat on the supposedly drug enhanced dancefloor.
The final most obscure and distanced version of Sapphire Eyes, the Lynch Mob Alt. Edit (almost unrecognisable from the single version) returns them to psychedelic space-prog with dreamy vocals and heavier, crunching layers of guitar. Nice enough, the song does its job - in the good “advert music” mould - but does not make up for the previous mishaps; the atonal flickering between the “gorgeous and the grotesque” (according to their website). If the rapturous reception they got at Roskilde festival is to be taken whole-heartedly, Serena Maneesh are very much a “live band” destined to fall at the recording hurdle, loosing identity in the surroundings of a studio.