Spectacular of Passages
Styles: fey, a-tad-folk-y singer-songwriter fluff
Others: The Aisler's Set, Cat Power, Vashti Bunyan
Forgive me for muddling up the matter, but Samara Lubelski's majestic, unquestionably feminine voice reminds me most of another artist who sings in a majestic, unquestionably feminine voice: reported male Jeff Hanson. So gentle and unassuming she could just as easily be tickling your tummy with a feather as luring you to sleep with her heavily cushioned coos, Lubelski's lullabies never waver from their hushed habitat, her band taking it down a notch to accentuate her velvet voice with one-ply squares of guitar, tinny drums, not-worth-coming-up-with-an-adjective-for strings, and tamborine titters that, strangely enough, practically dominate the choruses of tunes like "Broken Links."
And if you caught Lubelski eating a burger with 'da works at some dive, she would DEFINITELY give you her cheese paper to chew on; that's just a guess. In fact, chick's almost too nice and dainty. Doesn't she want to let loose? Even Flanders gives Homer the ol' Bermuda Shapeshifter -- don't ask for a definition of this act, just assume that it involves lots of steel-toe-booted ball kicking and a starving marmot from a broken home -- every so often to clean the pipes, and without even ONE instance of emotional depth, Spectacular of Passages suffers.
But you'll get over this because if you slap Spectacular into your player the gentle qui[et]-fi will easily turn your mid-day listening session upside down. Comas may be initiated; slumber may be forced upon you; hell, you might just slink sluff-shouldered to your bed at noon like an unemployed burnout.
Did I mention the album's kinda quiet? Oh right, I did, I did ... [barely audible mouth noises, something like 'csssshew-sh-sh-cssshewwwww' / tapping pencil on desk] So are we done here? What? You want a conclusion, a summary? You want me to wrap up my opinion like a beef 'n' potater burrito and shove it down your cakehole? Fine, fine... but I'm gonna yell it to balance this shiznoff out...
HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN SOMEONE THAT CHOKES OFF THEIR SNEEZES RATHER THAN LET THE PHLEGM FLY? LUBELSKI PROBABLY DOES THAT; SHE PROBABLY HAS OTHER ANNOYING HABITS, TOO, BUT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO CARE AT ALL ONCE THE TITANICALLY TWEE TRACKS OF SPECTACULAR OF PASSAGES SEDATE YOU AND CRADLE YOU LOVINGLY IN THEIR ARMS. RESTRAINED, SLOWLY PORTIONED HALF-POP SHAPED BY SUCH A WINNING VOICE IS HARD TO FIND, SO DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND, YOU KNOW, BUY THIS. [pssst! Can I get a bear claw? No, not that one... THAT one... yeah, mmmmmmm. This is my favorite sweet shoppe on the edge of town. Why am I whispering? FUCK YOU, GIMME MY CLAW!!!]
1. Lick 'N Leap
2. Sister Silver
3. Snow White Feathered Man
4. Magic Winding
5. Road to Misfortune
6. Broken Links
9. Fired To
10. Quartered Field