Friday, May 25, 2012

Vivir al dia

I was anticipating Beach House's latest album Bloom to be another stunning achievement, deeply affecting and moving, etc, having enthusiastically loved their prior output...  But no such luck.  I didn't loathe it, but just as with the most recent Destroyer album, it went in one ear and out the other.  Neither colourless nor terrible, just workmanlike.  I couldn't hum a melody from it with a gun at my temple.

Not so with Ms. Domino's 1986 version of Aretha Franklin's dazzling torch song...  The hypnotic guitar-interplay mirrors Felt, with a rockabilly twang on the leads, her voice is rich in character and depth.  Throaty, even!  A sweet soporific lullaby for the droopy eyed positioned between the morose ballads of Christine McVie in Fleetwood Mac and the Baltimore-bred sleepwalking hymns of (yes) Beach House and Cass McCombs.

Sadly the rest of Ms. Domino's work doesn't always add out - hopelessly dated sounding experiments with canned drum loops and an over-reliance on studio "texturing" drag it into the Lilith Fair swamp...  Actually, not a swamp - if only she had only recorded something in a backwoods bog! - but rather the estrogen-saturated chamber of some strip mall Yoga studio.  The sort of globe-trotting treacle that Tilda Swinton's character in We Need To Talk About Kevin would have on her walkman while hitchihiking through Andalusia. Jane Siberry and frozen yogurt.

Tread forward at your own peril or content yourself with her album East and West and a late period contribution to Stephen Merritt's project, The Sixths.

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