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Five Ways of Disappearing

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: £63.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£63.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jun. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad
  • ASIN: B0000251JQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,784 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Sept. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Most folk-pop fans will be able to easily identify Hope Sandoval as the eerie voice behind Mazzy Star. But her predecessor Kendra Smith is not so well known, and her sultry, dark pop solo album is one of those sadly unknown albums that deserves more than it got.

There's not even a hint of folk-pop here. Instead, Smith kicks things off with the gothic, synth-heavy pop "Aurelia." It's more noteworthy for Axis' twisted riffs than for any real musical originality, but Smith sounds wonderfully dark and eerie as she sings the vaguely mythic lyrics.

From there on, Smith takes a slightly more organic approach, melding dark pop lyrics with lush instrumental themes. She dabbles in guitar pop, bouncy gritty synth melodies, and ethereal goth stuff, with only one real foray into folkiness. And even there, she has a lot of piano.

Only imagination will tell us what would have happened, had Smith retained her place in Mazzy Star, instead of it going to Sandoval. But one thing is obvious -- it would have sounded very different. Smith's vocals are sultrier, and her music is darker and more lush, in the tradition of dark pop musicians like Nico.

She also resembles Nico in her use of a pump organ, which adds a stately, sometimes haunting note to the basic guitar and bass. It also provides a feeling of a deserted carnival in the nighttime in some songs, with Smith presiding over a dark main tent. Even in the more ethereal moments like "Temporarily Lucy," the smooth pop sounds strangely distant and lush.

Smith's voice is smooth and sultry without being self-consciously so.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9375ade0) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93856ab0) out of 5 stars An Eclectic Masterpiece! 30 Aug. 2000
By hadaverde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Simply put, this album is nothing short of amazing! This moody 13-track release showcases Kendra Smith's diverse talents as both a vocalist and a musician. Encompassing a wide range of musical genres, "Five Ways of Disappearing" is nevertheless tied together by Ms. Smith's own distinctive style. She makes use of an array of instruments not commonly associated with popular music (such as pump organs and other hurdy-gurdies) to add an unusual but intriguing flavor to her music.
While a more traditional soft-pop sound prevails on a majority of tracks, this CD also includes the decidedly jazzy "Drunken Boat", and an eerie carnival-gone-awry tone on "Bohemian Zebulon". The album closes on a powerful note with Ms. Smith's ominous rendition of Mimi and Richard Farina's "Bold Marauder".
All in all, regardless of one's expectations upon one's first listening, this CD will undoubtedly provide some unexpected but pleasant surprises.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93856b04) out of 5 stars Five ways, a hundred dark spots 7 Aug. 2005
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Most folk-pop fans will be able to easily identify Hope Sandoval as the eerie voice behind Mazzy Star. But her predecessor Kendra Smith is not so well known, and her sultry, dark pop solo album is one of those sadly unknown albums that deserves more than it got.

There's not even a hint of folk-pop here. Instead, Smith kicks things off with the gothic, synth-heavy pop "Aurelia." It's more noteworthy for Axis' twisted riffs than for any real musical originality, but Smith sounds wonderfully dark and eerie as she sings the vaguely mythic lyrics.

From there on, Smith takes a slightly more organic approach, melding dark pop lyrics with lush instrumental themes. She dabbles in guitar pop, bouncy gritty synth melodies, and ethereal goth stuff, with only one real foray into folkiness. And even there, she has a lot of piano.

Only imagination will tell us what would have happened, had Smith retained her place in Mazzy Star, instead of it going to Sandoval. But one thing is obvious -- it would have sounded very different. Smith's vocals are sultrier, and her music is darker and more lush, in the tradition of dark pop musicians like Nico.

She also resembles Nico in her use of a pump organ, which adds a stately, sometimes haunting note to the basic guitar and bass. It also provides a feeling of a deserted carnival in the nighttime in some songs, with Smith presiding over a dark main tent. Even in the more ethereal moments like "Temporarily Lucy," the smooth pop sounds strangely distant and lush.

Smith's voice is smooth and sultry without being self-consciously so. And she sounds her best when she sings the dark, slightly surreal songs rather than the upbeat ones: "They tell him that he should be dead/Radionic thugs are getting in his head/He sorts it out by sound and vibe/Knowing it's all true and it's a lie/in your head..."

Kendra Smith's solo album "Five Ways of Disappearing" is a darkly pretty experience, with sultry vocals and lots of thick, lush pop music.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93856de0) out of 5 stars A Classic 26 Oct. 2008
By P. Mccaffrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was very pleasantly suprised when I first played this CD. It was my first exposure to Kendra Smith's post- Opal work, and I had read alot of mixed reviews on it. It's an excellent release. The songwriting is great, the instrumental work is wonderful, and the production is perfectly suited to the material. There's also something heartening about experiencing an original, individualistic piece of work in a time when pop music is becoming increasingly derivative.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93856cd8) out of 5 stars Impervious to everything but Western Sun. 13 May 2012
By D. E. Olvera - Published on Amazon.com
I was in high school when Kendra Smith's lone solo album (her work with the Guild of Temporal Adventurers not withstanding) was released. I had heard some songs from another band (Garbage) and went to find their album. While browsing through the compact discs I noticed Five Ways of Disappearing.

Having only enough money for one of the releases, I hemmed and hawed over which one to choose. I was not sure if this was the very same Kendra Smith that was the singer for Opal. Was this the same woman who's vocals I would listen to over and over again in my Jeep Cherokee's cassette deck on long trips in the dark of night? I had no way of knowing and I stood there, for what seemed like hours, until finally I took a chance.

I bought this album and thank myself whenever its beautiful songs come up on random. Nearly 20 years after its release, this release has retained its dark charms. The songs are filled with soul and spirit, at once a part of their time but slightly behind or ahead but never dated. This album stands on its own and, sadly, must stand on its own because Kendra has not released another album.

If you enjoy the Paisley Underground era or psychedelia you should pick up this album and enjoy the last glimmer of Kendra Smith.
HASH(0x9386321c) out of 5 stars underrated performer 8 April 2013
By Baranabus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hope Sandoval sounds mannered next to Kendra Smith. Kendra creates a whole environment here that does not sound self-conscious the way that some of this micro-quasi-genre can (fans of the big reverb sound will recognize this little era of music). It's not quite a genre, I guess, more of a lush ambient vibe. (It's hard to describe concretely). The first time I heard Galaxie 500 I got that same transporting feeling- a sleepy, melodic intoxicating kind of thing.

I think now in this time of Beach House, people might appreciate this more than it was received at the time. I think this aesthetic tended to get steamrolled by the media annoyance that was grunge.
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