Author: Heather Phares
10/15/2003 | All Music Guide | www.allmusic.com | Album Review
Joel Petersen, aka Broken Spindles, returns with Fulfilled: Complete, another collection of evocative electronic rock. Down to its cover artwork, Fulfilled: Complete isn't radically different from its self-titled predecessor, but that doesn't mean it's a carbon copy of Broken Spindles, either. "Fall in and Down On" provides early proof that Petersen isn't just rehashing his previous work: the song's slightly treated vocals, buzzing synth bass, and busy rhythms are akin to, if not exactly like, Petersen's main band the Faint, and also has a slightly industrial feel. The song offers a sharp contrast to the more reflective pieces on Fulfilled: Complete, such as the swells of strings that make up "Induction" and "Song No Song"'s rippling pianos. The album really hits its stride on the kinetic "Move Away," and even though the monotone vocals occasionally become annoying (as on "To Die, for Death"), more often than not, they work. However, the tracks with singing find Broken Spindles moving in one direction, and the purely instrumental pieces find them moving in another, and sometimes the contrast between the two styles just ends up as a clash of sounds, particularly on "Practice, Practice, Preach," which ends up feeling like a lull between "Move Away" and the like-minded instrumental "Italian Wardrobe." Fulfilled: Complete ends on a spooky, promising note with "Harm" and "The Dream," both of which suggest that Petersen is close to perfecting his mix of electronic atmospheres and rock. It's not a perfect album, but it has enough of a connection to Broken Spindles to please fans of that album, and also show them where Petersen is going next.
CD / LP / MP3