GEOFF WESTEN: I’m Not Crazy: CD

When I first pressed play, I immediately heard a modern day The Cure or Depeche Mode. Nothing about the low budget packaging screamed new wave, so it was a pleasant surprise. I quickly scanned through the first few seconds of each track and everything was great: a voice reminiscent of Mark Mothersbaugh and dance-worthy beats. Things got iffy once the album played in full. While it was off to a good start, the lack of variety within each song coupled with the unnecessary length of them steers I’m Not Crazy into a snooze fest. Cuts like “Work Work” are everything I’ve ever wanted in synth pop—”I work 6-5, my mind is not alive”—sang over layers and layers of keyboards. But the ultra-cheesy ballad “Love Has Let You Down” easily crosses into the trying-too-hard-to-be-Tears-for-Fears territory. I’m calling it a wash. There is one thing of which I’m certain: if it was 1985 and John Cusack’s latest movie needed a soundtrack, this would be a strong contender. 

 –Nicole Madden (Disturbing Music, disturbingmusic.com)