Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Julie Only is like butter on the ears
A. Brecher | New York | 10/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An enigmatic tune-scape, Julie Only is one of those recordings that seems to create its own atmosphere. This atmosphere is a creamy, dreamy rock-world of soft repetitive voices whispering to your consciousness. The album ebbs and flows like water, occasionally waking you from its trance-like effect with a sturdy roar of crescendo."
What a disappointment!
A. Brecher | 12/13/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was given a copy of the first Seely CD "Parentha See", and I must have listened to it fifty times, each time hearing new things in the dense musical tapestries that make up the CD. When I found that they had released another CD, I quickly ordered it and awaited it with baited breath. When it came, I put it in the player and realized that it was all the same songs as on the first CD, just vastly inferior versions as if they had tried to quickly re-record it. Then I found out from the friend who gave me the first one that that was exactly what they did. Do yourself a favor and get Parentha See instead, it is a mountain compared to this anthill."
Insomniac's guitar pop
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/23/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's never a good sign when a band's sophomore album is a rehash of the debut. But that's exactly what Seely tries out in their second album "Julie Only," which turns the more polished sounds of debut "Parentha See" into raw, somewhat hollow indie-pop. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
It doesn't exactly start off by snaring your attention -- there's just strumming and a sonomnbulistic "da da doo... for you..." and similar nonsense humming. It takes half the song to actually do anything, and then it's just a louder version of the buildup. Fortunately "Meteor Shower" shows more life, with a trembly spacey vibe over an indie-rock foundation.
"Sealskin" and "Bubble Bath" are merely low, rather unengaging guitar melodies, while "Red Flume" is fun but instantly forgettable." There's a sudden spurt of life in "Bugles," which has a more complex, catchy melody, and "Lucky Penny" has a killer hook that drags you into the swirling percussion-and-guitar pop. "Past Sap Pass Street & So On" is pure psychedelic bliss. Then, alas, the album starts to sag again, into aimless songs like the lackluster "Shine" and boring "Inside."
"Julie Only" was recorded as their record labels tried to wrangle out the rights to their debut. So despite the ill guitarist, Seely redid their album in a rougher, rawer state... in only ten days. For some bands, this would be an opportunity to blossom under pressure. For Seely, however, it merely scratched up the polish of their songs.
The music clearly aspires to be dreamy. But it's too rough for that -- the guitar is too grounded, and the twinkling accompaniment sounds like a kid on the xylophone and tambourines. The fact that they rushed through it is obvious, because it sounds like something recorded in only ten days, without a lot of musical variety. About half the songs sound alike.
Steven Satterfield's vocals are deemphasized in this album, and that's not a good sign. He sings in a distant monotone, sounding like he's about to fall asleep on the mike. In some songs, he just sounds bored silly. And because he sounds so distant, it sounds like he isn't trying very hard. As for the songwriting, it's almost impossible to figure out what the heck Satterfield is saying.
You can't really blame Seely for wanting to get their debut album back out there, but they really should have recorded a new album rather than de-mixing the older stuff. Then "Julie Only" would sound like a musical evolution rather than a rough, hasty misstep."