Advisory Committee
/k; 2002/

rating : 8



more info:

A couple of days before Christmas, I was reading 2002 top 10s everywhere, looking for last minutes gifts for myself and I saw this album mentioned in an obscure webzine top 10, and since the other albums on the list were my favourites of the year, I decided to check it out. It gets pretty boring, Christmas i mean. In these days where everything is forever available online, it turns out that when you want to buy yourself some new fresh and exciting thing, you've already heard of all the things the music clerk tells you about six months ago. So I downloaded it on dec 22nd. I went shopping to see if it was available somewhere on the 23rd but all I could find was Mirah's previous album, you think it's like this but really it's like this, at the bargain price of $22. I didn't buy it.

Mirah succeeds in sounding like all my favourite female artists: Lisa Germano, PJ Harvey (on The Garden and Apples in the Trees), Hope Sandoval and Cat Power (on Special Death). The music sounds like a pre-Mount Eerie Microphones album, which is good and due to the fact that Elvrum produces, we meet the good ol' dubbed acoustic guitars and behemoth drums. Cold Cold Water, the first song, is majestuous in a huge-bird-unfolds-its-wings way. I don't think anyone could possibly resist this song -even though arch-indie snob SEB WOOd told me he found it "so-so"- with its impressive arrangements, the cute voice and the stunning choruses and verses. The few songs before Recommendations sounds quite like great Microphones material, without Elvrum but with his musical soul mate. Recommendations starts like a 80ish synth-pop anthem, with a drum machine, a synthesized organ and Mirah's cute voice. The Sun is one of my favourite songs on the album. It starts nicely and quietly, with glockenspiel and all and then a nice melody enters and it explodes. Remember to breathe, remember to breathe. Special Death is darker, mellower and more haunting than all the previous songs, with it's lingering la la la's. It sounds even better when the accordion "kicks" in. In the Garden Mirah sounds diva-like, the old fashioned way. But you don't want me anymore, how could that be ? look what you've done to meeee-oh oh ohhh. Light the Match sounds good like a Tom Waits song sung by a girl, the way Tom Waits would sing it if he was a girl with a cute voice (phew). It starts with the cherished pick-up line I want to start a fire in your heart tonight and sounds timeless (circa 1950), filled with accordion and cheap violins. Songs with cheap accordions and violins always remind me of the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. I had a tough childhood.  

-Barbara H

/jan 15th 2002/