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Broken [Radio Vers.]
by 12 Stones
listener.rating 5.2/6 by 9 listeners
Heard by 47,213 since Apr 5 '05
Last spun 7 months ago
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December 15, 2002

In the lexicon of pop and rock criticism, the term unique is so overused as to be both mundane and meaningless. It’s refreshing to find someone who puts the mystique back in unique.

This is Xiren’s third recording, Polite Conversation. It reflects the progression of a two-year trip through the Denver music scene and the stimulating sounds of pop culture. It fuses both intelligent lyrics with strong, heartfelt songwriting and passion. It’s fun and funny. It entertains and easily soars over expectations of what a “good local band” should sound like. And for what it’s worth, each of the seven tracks truly sparkle and sting with something, well, unique.

Xiren, as a band, behaves as the enigmatic brainchild of visionaries Ben Jansen and Xiren Kenny. After the release of Bullets and Rainbows in 2000, Jansen and Kenny focused on gathering a flock of massively talented musicians from the Rocky Mountain region to hit the live stage and build a fan base. The pristine production and sonic detail on Bullets needed to be tested live and at full clip. By the time the itch for the next studio release began in the spring of 2002, Xiren’s performances and growing song catalog had earned impressive accolades from a healthy variety of fans, journalists, critics, and industry veterans both in and outside of Denver.

That’s why Polite Conversation is an absolute necessity for listeners of pop and rock music. Xiren remains genuine and exciting, presenting beautiful, hip songs and musical concepts with humor, intelligence, and most importantly, talent. The passion is evident in the title track, as the music rocks and swirls while remaining completely open to anyone who hears it. The sonic shift to “Butterflies” reveals the depth and distinctive lyrics consistent throughout Conversation. “Prince Among Frogs” pays tribute to the ‘classic’ pop world that infuses, but never squashes, the innovative Xiren sound.

Xiren easily translates the details and provocative tenets on Polite Conversation (and tracks from his 2000’s impressive Bullets and Rainbows) to the live stage with just as much energy and charisma as you hear on the recording. It is music that is open to interpretation anywhere and anyhow. Xiren finds meaningful (and polite!) conversations through the unity of sound, vision, and the fact that being ‘unique’ is truly one in a million.

Listed in Top 10 Best Underground Bands 2002 – The Denver Post
Best Rock/Pop Band 2002 Finalist – Westword Music Showcase
Best Album 2001 – RIFF Magazine
“Best Rock/Pop Album 2001” –
Official Coors Light Band 2002

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