I was really pleased the other morning that it was raining while I made my way to work, listening to Mazzy Star. Not because I like the rain - dammit this is supposed to be summer - but because it reminded me of when I like to listen to music like this. Which is curled up on the sofa with a good book, the rain coming down outside and me snug and warm inside.
It also made me think about my niece, who's recently left home, and is the first of the young 'uns to leave the nest. She's all about the horses and a lot of her musical tastes run to the country. So I thought to myself, YourZ and I ought to get together an alt-country playlist for her. There's a bunch of stuff we've reviewed this year that fits nicely into that genre, including this band, Cowboy Junkies, Love Me, M Ward, Nations By the River... we could have fun!
Anyway, there's a bunch of things Hope Sandoval's voice got me thinking about - and that's another reason I love Mazzy Star. It lets your mind wander in the best of ways. Love it.
VERDICT:TURN IT UP
I don't think I ever noticed how much parts of this CD remind me of The Doors. In a good way, too. This album, while best known for the hit single, Fade Into You, has a creeping, bluesy quality in parts where vocalist Hope Sandoval sounds like a female reincarnation of the Lizard King himself. But then she does this whole whisper singing thing as well and sounds more like a country chanteuse, full of bitter passion.
It also sounds positively art cinema, so much so I'm waiting for someone like Jim Jarmusch to make a film using this as the soundtrack. There's the dirty, almost falling apart blues of Wasted, the languid groove of She's My Baby, a folky, violin-fuelled spareness called Into Dust and, of course, the wasted elegance of Fade..., with that irresistible, velvet slide guitar line. It is a thing of beauty.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
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