Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions|
Through the Devil Softly
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Since the release of Mazzy Star s debut album She Hangs Brightly, Hope Sandoval has defined the sound — and style of California psychedelic dream pop. The world took notice when the surprise breakthrough — single, Fade Into ... more »
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Since the release of Mazzy Star s debut album She Hangs Brightly, Hope Sandoval has defined the sound
and style of California psychedelic dream pop. The world took notice when the surprise breakthrough
single, Fade Into You, hit the airwaves and heavy rotation at MTV. Sandoval s trademark vocals and
beauty helped to make her a modern day music icon. Now the revered singer returns with her long awaited
post-Mazzy Star sophomore album, Through The Devil Softly.
Since her time with Mazzy Star, the sought after vocalist has collaborated with artists from across the
musical landscape: The Jesus & Mary Chain, Air, Death in Vegas, The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack
and Bert Jansch.
In 2001 she joined Colm Ó Cíosóig (of My Bloody Valentine), and backing Irish band Dirt Blue Gene, to
form Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, and released their debut Bavarian Fruit Bread.
Now on Through The Devil Softly, the definitive star of the Paisley Underground scene reignites her
trademark sound in an epic journey across the 11 song album. The project continues the laid-back, slowcore
sound they are renowned for and places Sandoval s sensuous, hypnotic voice in the forefront. Recorded at
home in Berkley, the spare, subtle arrangements reinforce Sandoval s gentle vocal style.
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She spins a web of intrigue
TommieGirl | usa | 10/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard some of the songs prior to the official album release date and was immediately "sold". First, these songs feel like a road trip into the darkest corner of Miss. Sandoval's mind...the mood here is atmospheric & Spellbinding with a capital "S". In particular, I found the songs "For the rest of your life" and "Blanchard" captivating. Despite having lost nearly a decade, the band has refined their sound with Sandoval's voice continuing to highlight her unbridled sensuality. Do I recommend this album you ask? I do, I do, I do and can only praise this singer for the air of mystique she creates in her music. This is psychedelia fused with folk and trip hop-an experimental masterpiece."
Sandoval's talent is not found almost anywhere nowadays
NUEVE | Culiacan. Sin. Mex, | 10/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a Mazzy Star album, that's for sure but still, Hope Sandoval finds beatiful, tricky and simple ways to get you with her songs and her proyect here. The first half of the record is exactly what I was expecting from her: mellow melodies, trance periods and breathing sadness all over the place (Blanchard, Wild roses, Lady Jessica and Sam and Set the blaze are the example) Now, it is fair to point out one particular song on the first half of the record: "For the rest of your life". Here the music structure is awesome. The bass line kind of thing is waird and yet well fit for the mood of the song and the electric guitar reminds me to what bands like The Cure or even Radiohead would do. Strangely beautiful for sure. On the other hand, when you arrive to "Trouble" and "Fall aside" the real fun starts. Beautiful, beautiful songs that take me back more to what Sandoval used to do with Mazzy Star. I automatically felt in love with these two songs when I listened to them.
All this aside, I must point out above everything the exquisite voice that Ms. Hope Sandoval still has. Beautiful, stunning voice that in my humble opinion next to Natalie Merchant (10'000 maniacs) and Tori Amos defined how a real singer acrually sang a song back in the 90's.
Welcome back Hope!"
A DREAM WALTZ FLOATING OUT AT SEA
W. T. Hoffman | Pennsylvania, United States | 11/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hope Sandoval's voice has floored me, since I first heard MAZZY STAR's "So Tonight That I Might See". Being a fan of Hope's voice is frustrating. For the duraton of Hope's 19 year singing career, she has only released 5 albums, this being her second solo album after a 9 year hiatis. Then again, quality over quanity has its own merits. And here we see the merits in full bloom. When you spin the CD, you notice Hope's voice has lost none of its mystical, morphia slow quality. On this album, that quality is embellished with waltzes, (3/4 time), or singing the song ribato, with gaps in the flow and orchestration of the song. Most of the songs use this device of shifting downbeat, thru the layering of various time signatures over the drums, fading in and out electric guitar echos, or marimba punctuations, so that the timing of the songs is hard to determine. Overall, this reinforces that dreamy, slowed down observation of time, that is undoubtedly Hope Sandoval's trademark sound. The overall effect is staggering. Far from sounding like dated dream-pop, from the early 80s paisley underground, this album updates the sound, matures it, and offers it with a totally mature vision. (Just to set the record straight, HOPE never really was part of a paisley underground, as much as Dave Robach was. OPEL and the DREAM SYNDICATE, 80s bands long before Hope's singing, and before MAZZY STAR, are the real Paisley Underground, new wavey sound. MAZZY STAR evolved from the mass market recognition of alternative music, after Grunge broke mainstream).
THRU THE DEVIL SOFTLY's songs range in orchestration from a full band sound, with drums, acoustic and electric guitars, bass and marimba, to broken up elements of this vision. For instance, SETS THE BLAZE starts with an acoustic guitar fingerpicked, Hope singing, with backround vocal effects, adds marimbas, tagging a coda with a string quartet. More than half of the songs are waltzes, but what's odder, is how many of the songs play with way the song is counted. THINKING LIKE THAT has a pure 3/4 timing on the drums, but includes a chorus, or "B" section, that slows down, thins out the instrument density, and almost SITS there in time, defying forward motion. Then, it picks up again. Strings come in, play for a few bars, and disappear. The effect is one of sleep walking thru a foggy park at twilight, or musical narcolepsy. This strangness increases, until by the last song, the sound of the sea is the predominant instrument, with a tinny, thin acoustic guitar, and Hope's hazy vocals, sounding like she's singing a mile out at sea, but recorded from the shoreline. Each song takes a different approach to this esthetic of SLOWCORE. Overall, compared to her last album BARVARIAN FRUIT BREAD, this album's sound is much more developed. THERE'S A WILLOW is the only song where Hope's harmonica work is showcased. Again, this is a song that has some percussion in 3/4, covered by waves of cymbals played with brushes, and other instruments playing in 6/8. Most of the songs play with that central orchestration, with only two songs sounding like a band might play them, ie, MAZZY STAR. (BLACHARD, the first song, and TROUBLE.) In fact, the ONLY thing missing from those songs, that would make them an update of those heady MAZZY STAR albums, is the absence of David Robach's electric guitar freak outs. In other ways, if your favorite MAZZY STAR songs were numbers like "FIVE STAR SERENADE", or "INTO DUST", then you'll love this album. Really, this album sounds more like MAZZY STAR, than anything around since 1996.
As for the lyrics, as usual, they are anybody's guess, and have the same half-lit, miasmic quality that you see on the cover photograph. The cover shows an arm, part of a chair, leaving the audience to infer the whole from the parts. Hope's vocal quality, drawing out words, singing vowels like voiceless angels humming into echo chambers, does make lyrical observations nearly impossible. But that's part of the album's esthetic, its charm. The sense of words fade in and out, the dynamics of individual instruments fade in and out. You hear a banjo, and claves, then they fade away, and you hear an organ, and Hope's keening voice, only to hear that fade into bass drum and percussion. If you are into music you can dance to, then the only dance you could do here, is a "danse macabre". However, reducing her music to some branch of goth, based on this slow, dark sound, (or the album's title) defies any rationale. When Hope sings "Is that the Devil in your Eyes, or just Some Kind of Symphony?", it best sums up whatever Goth elements MAY be here. Hope Sandoval has achieved a great piece of music here, that's the bottom line. So, what is it? In the end, this still seems to be a branch of Freak Folk, produced by the queen of the genre. THEN AGAIN...It might be Belly Button Gazing music. It might be Paisly Underground. It might be Slo Core. It might just be a daydream waltz, floating off to the foggy sea."