Female Bureau of Investigation is a project of Sasha Sumner, a singer-songwriter and saxaphone player. With a hip-hop/indie-rock/jazz-fusion sort of flair, Sasha’s latest musical endeavor would be a wonderful backdrop for a twenty-something dinner party or a contemporary art show. The overall musicianship and production quality are of a quite highly skilled quality. On the other hand, the music lends itself toward a fairly passive listening experience that is not very demanding.
While several of the jazzier portions of the songs have strong musical merit in their own right, many of the passages feel a bit contrived. They often seem out of place and a bit forced at times.
Listening to songs such as “Virgin Mary” and “My Secret,” Sasha’s compositions might benefit from more lyrical content as the long stretches of instrumentation can become quite repetitive. The songs often meander quite a bit without clear intent, as is expressed with endless “lah-dee-dah’s” in “My Secret” in particular.
Generally speaking, the songs could benefit from a more refined song structure. With a lack of significant peaks and valleys, the songs seem to lack a sense of cohesion and often feel on the verge of falling down. There also seems to be a lack of intent behind the music, as it’s unclear at times what the songs actually mean.
Female Bureau of Investigation is certainly hinting at a unique style with this effort. With some additional refinement and more solidified song architecture, the band has the potential to hit a home run. For the time being, this only feels like a base hit.
by Bob Lien