Roseland is a strangely obscure collaboration between film score composer Tyler Bates (300, Doomsday) and Azam Ali from bands Niyaz and Vas. Both artists’ historical output is amazing. However, this album is quite a departure for both of them, though no less competent.
Roseland reminds me a bit of trip hop, think Portishead or Massive Attack, injected with a healthy dose of Siouxsie and the Banshees style gothic rock. It is a largely electronic recording with scattered riffy guitar work. There is a solid groove with a strong down beat, making this music a seductive dance floor choice. Each track is memorable, without annoying pop hooks, and work together to make a good, complete album.
Azam Ali’s vocal work is simply divine. Her range, and vocal depth are staggering. Her work here is commanding, intense, passionate and utterly beautiful. Even though Ali’s vocal work is quite potent, it is noteworthy that in no way does it overwhelm the overall mix or composition. This is a normal point of contention I have when a band showcases such a prominent vocalist. This is not just a showcase for how wonderful a vocalist she is. This is definitely an even collaboration between these two competent artists.
Roseland is not quite trip hop, but it is difficult to classify and I suspect anyone into bands like Massive Attack will enjoy this album. I would also recommend this to fans of darkwave/ethereal acts like Dead Can Dance or The Creatures.