Label: Melodic Release date: 25/05/09 Website: The Soundcarriers Official Website Buy: Amazon So you've just double clicked on the 'Sims 2' icon on your desktop, and up has flashed the loading screen. Your mind is alive with the anticipation of another few wasted hours on your favourite computer game, and in the background of the loading screen, there is some appealing, inoffensive and rather nice music playing. There is a good chance it could be The Soundcarriers. I jest. Parts of this album sound like Sims music, yes, but come on, admit it, everyone likes Sims music. On Harmonium, soft, melodic and ambient sounds appear throughout, creating a psychedelic, trance-like feel in every song. A jazz-influenced rhythm section gives everything a bit more energy than other psychedelic music has, with walking basslines in every track creating an uplifting mood and carrying the music along. The tracks 'Time Will Come', 'Without Sound' and 'Calling Me' particularly benefit from a good bass groove. The nicest moments on the album come when The Soundcarriers find the best simple harmonies: there is a knack to good harmonies, to give them an edge without over complicating them. In places, The Soundcarriers' harmonies sound uninspired, but in tracks including 'Caught By The Sun' and 'Falling For You', they shine through, the harmonising male and female vocals very soothing and pretty, and the many instruments complimenting each other well. Despite these merits, I found myself drifting away every time I listened to Harmonium. There were so many sounds and instruments on every song, all competing for attention, none quite energetic enough or enthralling enough to get it. I see it like this: the more different colours of paint you mix together without aiming for a particular shade, the more likely you are to get grey. This album is, in places, grey. On the other hand, Harmonium creates a contemplative and calm world, the many instruments and textures woven together in a soft, appealing, if partly grey fabric. I like Sims music; who doesn’t? Buy: Soundcarriers Website, Amazon Rating: 7/10