Search - Songs: Ohia :: Axxess & Ace

Axxess & Ace
Songs: Ohia
Axxess & Ace
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Songs: Ohia
Title: Axxess & Ace
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Secretly Canadian
Original Release Date: 4/6/1999
Re-Release Date: 5/4/1999
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, Indie & Lo-Fi, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 656605002422, 4024572078027, 656605002460, 723724298019

CD Reviews

Axxess and Ace
Steven G. Milam | Greenville, SC USA | 02/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Very few indie folk musicians use subtelty to greater immediate effect than Jason Molina. Axxess & Ace, rather than being a record that appears boring to unattentive ears or needs repeat listens to understand, is instantly moving. Part of it is the voice -- Molina delivers some of the most harrowing vocals ever recorded, like a scared and fragile Neil Young lost in the woods. The rest of it comes from the perfectly unsettling melancholy of Molina's music -- he utilizes silence, repetition, and occasional dissonance as instruments unto themselves, filling out an arrangement that is usually merely a guitar and a few percussive elements (occasionally including a foreboding bassline). Violins are introduced later in the record to keep things varied and fresh, but foremost this is a work of stunning minimalism.

The effect may often be hypnotic, but there is no rest here. Axxess and Ace is the product of an intensely troubled mind, shadowed by broken love at every turn. The lyrics are full of heartbreak and hopeless longing, and Molina never sings them with anything less than the most sincere conviction. The man has mastered dynamics within his simple guitar work; the way a chord is played is just as important as the note it expresses. The way his strumming quietly builds to a vigorous fever is executed perfectly, and fleshed out by surprisingly innovative drum work. Details on individual tracks is all but pointless, because whether it's the quietest slice of romantic disquiet you'll ever hear ("Redhead"), a more generously embellished uneasy lullaby ("Come Back to Your Man"), or the closest thing to a white-knuckled rock number that Songs: Ohia created before the final record ("Hot Black Silk"), each track is an almost perfect expression of lost love in the most haunting sense, as if sung from somewhere in a dusty forgotten Midwestern grain silo. However, Molina's pieces seem to fit together best on tracks like the syncopated blues of "Captain Badass" or the quietly vitriolic "Love Leaves Its Abusers." It's probably not possible to choose one record of Molina's as his greatest, and even if it was, it's not a sure thing that this would be it -- nevertheless, there is very little wrong with these hushed basement ruminations on disturbed love. Just try not to be affected.

Roll around on the floor in a state of unadulterated ecstasy
Steven G. Milam | 04/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Will Oldham is like David Bowie in that he has influenced artists who have far exceeded his own abilities. Jason Molina is the clearest example of this. While the bucolic-yet-erudite postmodern indie thing may have been done first by Oldham, his music, for me at least, never really comes together. The ideas behind Oldham's music, in all of its iterations, are always more interesting than the actual product. Songs: Ohia (i.e. Molina), on the other hand, makes what seems like endlessly creative music that is never disappointing. It is impossible to say which album by Songs: Ohia is the best (I own five) because, even though Molina supposedly works within a narrow idiomatic framework, the music is extremely varied. This record has some especially stand out tracks. Everyone talks about "Captain Badass", which is definitely fun to say, but the more I listen to this record, the more affected I am by "Good Night Lover" and "Champion". Both of these songs are nothing short of heartbreaking. Each time I listen to Axxess and Ace, I find more subtle nuances to the music that make me like it more and more. I'm almost afraid to say how great Songs: Ohia's music is for fear that it will lose its edge on future albums, as is so common with bands. For now, Molina continues to make some of the best music around. The fact that he is not famous shows the already obvious stupidity of MTV and commercial radio. I would also like to recommend the vinyl "Pyramid Electric Co." by Jason Molina that is not available through Amazon. This is not some second rate side project or leftover tracks that were tacked onto a vinyl only release. Instead it is Molina at his most intimate and austere, and it totally kicks ass.Read the review by the guy from Greensboro. It's much more informative than mine."
Aboslutely wonderful
Steven G. Milam | 01/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"a fantastic cd, with real emotion and real representation of a soul. {gorgeously sung with beautiful music.} and the lyrics? ohmygoodnessgracious. poetry in motion, as they say."