Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Court And Spark...

Yes, the new album has arrived and while there probably won't be a whole lot of fanfare there really should be. Bands like Court And Spark make me proud to be living in San Francisco. The city has long nurtured the alt country movement (I think it's the gloom of the fog) and Court And Spark certainly has it's roots in that sound. Though with Hearts it seems that the band has distanced itself to some degree from it's countrified California sound that echoes to varying degrees The Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco. Hearts has less of the country psychedlia of Ventura Whites and more of the poppier moments of Witch Season. Despite a huge variety of instrumentation that includes pedal steel, banjo and hammered dulcimer there's not a lot of twang here. In fact what I kept thinking about as the album played was The Band. My only complaint about Hearts is that it seems to uniform in tone. This is a mellow record. Despite my hopes that the band would let down their hair and attack some of these songs with a rockers mentality as they had done when I saw them live opening for Magnolia Electric Co. But this record runs much closer to the mellow vibe of Magnolia Electric Co.'s What Comes After The Blues, Jason Molina even lends a hand on one song on Hearts, but without Molina's gut wrenching open wound style of songwriting some of these songs just seem very quiet. Not that quiet is bad, they're still very good songs they just seem to become wallpaper until a the band hits it out of the park with a song like "You're Mother Was Lightning" and you remember how great they can be. MC Taylor's voice is buttery smooth and his lyrics cryptic tales of strange semi-familiar towns.

Hearts is a fine record thought I don't believe the band's out done Witch Season. I don't think they even tried. Maybe that's the problem. I was expecting the band to really stretch for something grand, sweeping and classic. They have it in them.

1 song from Hearts:

Your Mother Was Lightning


Blogger GiGi said...

Thank you. I heard this song on the local college radio station and it stuck with me.

8:48 PM  

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