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The follow-up to Axelrod's Song Of Innocence
also takes its cue from the visions of William Blake, with a similar mix of classical, jazz and funk instrumentation. But, unlike its predecessor, this record carries an undercurrent of melancholic menace. On "The Poison Tree" a shrieking violin suddenly spits through the blanket of feel-good rhythms, while "Little Girl Lost" cries out plaintively with a naive harpsichord melody. "London" opens with a low-end bass smog that lifts at the call of a modish organ to reveal a 1960s hipster spirit with a restless heart. Led by a yearning acoustic guitar riff, "The School Boy" wallows in nostalgia. "The Human Abstract" and "The Fly" return to Axelrod's supercool, prog-jazz signature with amped breaks that ache to be jacked by sample hunter/gatherers. The album ends on an unsettling note with held high notes and strings that pace around like a predator waiting to pounce as Axelrod ponders "The Divine Image". And from the sound of it, he doesn't like what he sees. --Chris Campion