one record, two directions

Mind Fruit (EastWest Records)
Opus III

By Kory Wilcoxson

"It's a Fine Day," the first single from Opus III that has been getting major play on the dance scene, is a sassy number that allows the lead singer (none of the band members were identified) to float her ethereal voice over the pulsating beats of the music. But little else on Mind Fruit proves to be as entertaining.

It seems as if Opus III couldn't decide between dance music and New Age, so they decided to do a little of both. That, however, can be confusing to listeners expecting danceable songs like "Fine Day."

Only "Evolution Rush" matches the released single in infectious rhythms. The rest seems to oscillate between giddy house music and lighter-than-air instrumentals. since decidedly different moods are needed to fully enjoy either genres, it would be very hard to like all of Mind Fruit.

The album's New Age sound is by no means trivial, and when isolated can easily stand on it's own as quality stuff. But listening to the soothing "Into This Universe" after kicking it with "Evolution Rush" is a little bit too much of a letdown.

Opus III is equally competent with either style, although I tend to favor their high-powered dance side. If they could solve their identity crisis, or find a way to make +the styles mesh more smoothly, they might be worth listening to more closely in the future.