Azure Ray | Drawing Down the Moon

Saddle Creek (2010)
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  September 22, 2010
1.0 1.0 Stars

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Is it possible to produce a record that sounds anything like a comeback when your sonic trademark is one of delicate sulk and sorrow? Maybe, but Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor, the two halves of Azure Ray, seem to have had a difficult go of it. Following a six-year hiatus filled with a handful of semi-successful side projects, the duo have returned with a fourth full-length filled with distracted, unnoteworthy tracks. Most of Drawing Down the Moon forsakes the minimalistic, piercingly melancholy orchestration of Azure Ray's prime in favor of new and seemingly forced instrumental layers. There's the slick but hollow electronic glaze of "In the Fog" and "Love and Permanence"; there's the subtle twang of "Signs in the Leaves." And in "Don't Leave My Mind," there are moments of both that hover dangerously close to Bush-bashing-era Dixie Chicks land. The collection itself is haphazard; what's worse is that the individual tracks build and remain suspended in mid air by very thin and awkward threads, rarely growing into full-fledged arrangements. The album is such a disappointment that it almost elicits a spin of one of the saddest songs of all time — the duo's 2001 "November."

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Maria Taylor, Orenda Fink,  More more >
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