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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2001
Being a fan of Mazzy Star for quite a while, I was keen to hear Hope Sandoval's first solo outing (apart from the At The Doorway Again EP and the stuff with the Chemical Brothers and the Jesus and Mary Chain). I can tell you now that since I got this LP, nothing else has been on my cd player (and I have a big cd collection with [in my opinion] a lot of really good stuff in it).
Hope's voice is as deliciously narcotic as usual, at the same time languid and sorrowful, and if anything the tracks are even more laid-back than Mazzy Star... perfect music for any time, stone-cold chilled and sweeter than a kiss.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2003
This is indeed ethereal music, but not quite in the sense that Enya for instance is ethereal. There is more of a eerie and haunted sound here, but there's exquisite beauty within that sound.
These are all good tracks, but most notable are "Suzanne", "On The Low", "Feeling Of Gaze", "Charlotte, "Clear Day", and "Around My Smile". There is a melancholy mood here, but not depressive as Natalie Merchant's MOTHERLAND might seem to many. This is meditative, relaxing music, and yet there is depth to it.
Highy recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2001
We had to wait for quite some time for this album, but it definitely was worth the wait !
Hope Sandoval proves that there is life after Mazzy Star. Because of Hope's amazing voice, this album sounds like Mazzy Star. There are differences as well. The songs are more laid-back than the songs on Mazzy Star albums. Hope gives us a cd which makes day-dreaming easier than ever. Great songs, great atmosphere ! One of the better albums of the year !!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Her wispy, soft vocals were the biggest highlight of Mazzy Star's smoky pop. But now that that much-missed band is gone, Hope Sandoval sets out as a solo artist, in the enchanting "Bavarian Fruit Bread." If you can't have Mazzy Star, then this is a pretty good alternative.

It opens with an acoustic guitar playing a slow melody, mellow and gently. That tune doesn't change much throughout the opening song "Drop," except that Sandoval begins singing in a moody, dreamy manner after a minute. That pretty much sets the tone for the entire album, except for a few songs -- sweet vocals, languid melodies, and a few chimes thrown in.

Most of the songs that follow are much the same -- mellow, gentle, sad acoustic ballads. A few break the mold, with an electric guitar riff in the smoldering "On The Low," and a distant piano solo in "Baby Let Me." And the final song "Lose Me On The Way" is a brilliant slice of experimental pop, slowly sliding from guitar to synth and haunted-house effects, and then back again.

"Bavarian Fruit Bread" is undoubtedly Sandoval's own effort, despite all the inevitable comparisons to her defunct band. It's prettier, less jazzy, more delicate, and simpler. And taken only on its own, it's still a remarkably pretty piece of indie folkpop.

Some of the acoustic guitar playing is somewhat weak, which becomes even clearer when the electric one enters the scene. It's far too simple. So, for that matter, is the songwriting ("Gonna find all your trouble/Gonna send them away/Gonna make you feel happy/Gonna be what you say"), although the songwriting's simplicity is something of a blessing.

However, the piano, eerie fuzzy synth, and slightly scratchy violin are well done, and add some extra dimension to the pretty little songs. Perhaps the only instrumental flaw is that Sandoval and her band never pick up the tempo. Everything is slow and languid. Why not a few midtempo songs?

But whatever the melodies are, they seem to exist to frame Sandoval's lovely voice. She puts it to good use here, singing as if she were half asleep. "The way you drop/Is like a stone/Making out you're flying/But you've just been thrown," she murmurs in the opening song. While these are very simple, they are also beautiful in their lack of pretension.

Stripped-down songs and airy melodies are at the heart of "Bavarian Fruit Bread," the solo debut by Hope Sandoval. Sweet and languid all around.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2002
Music is its own reward and fans of Mazzy Star will not be disappointed with "Bavarian Fruit Bread". Hope's voice is still the most beautiful sound ever committed to tape, disc, vinyl...or whatever new technological medium comes our way. Although the music may not be as psychedelic as Mazzy albums were/are, it is however, still very haunting, moody, atmospheric, and as uplifting as ever. Like fine wine, or Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks", and Love's "Forever Changes", Hope's first solo offering is an album to grow old with and enjoy for years and years to come. This really is as good as it gets. Splendid.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2004
Sandoval is one of my favourite female vocalists. Her eyes closed whisper oozes a lazy sexuality that gives me goosebumps every single time. Around my smile has the lady herself admitting "I got it going on!" and listening to this you have to agree. On the Low is a tune in a very similar groove, and although not an identical twin it is at least a very alike sibling. This is a good thing as these two stand out tracks are perfect. Things get a little melancholic throughout but never to the point were you even think of turning it off. Gimme this CD, a balmy summers evening, a hammock and a beer and I got it going on!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2010
In 2001 Hope Sandoval released an album under the banner Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions. Bizarrely, it was entitled Bavarian Fruit Bread and largely featured a collaboration with Colm O'Ciosoig, ex-drummer with the wonderful My Bloody Valentine. There's minimal percussion here though. The sound of the album, while not a major departure for Sandoval, was a lot more stripped back than Mazzy Star, featuring a lot more acoustic guitar and touches of cello, bells, harmonica and xylophone here and there. Hope sounds totally unenthused, but in an utterly bewitching way.

The album begins with Drop, a Jesus and Mary Chain cover (she used to go out with William Reid) and Hope's voice is centre stage over a strummed acoustic guitar. It's followed up by the narcoleptic Suzanne. This and Butterfly Mornings are perfect sunny Sunday morning music. On the Low picks up the pace a bit and reminds me slightly of less cringe-y Serge Gainsbourg (without the male vocals). Feeling of Gaze doesn't quite work. Hope's singing is great but the cello and piano competes rather than complements leaving the track sounding disjointed.

The stronger melodies are actually backweighted towards the second half of the album. Charlotte is another sleepily graceful track, while Clear Day is a quiet triumph. The vocals here are particularly enticing, lines like "gonna take all your troubles, gonna send them away"wouldn't work with other singers but they suit perfectly here. Around My Smile is probably the strongest track, a slow-burning torch song with Hope Sandoval at her most alluring. The chorus is like a ridiculous come-on, the line is "I got going on". Writing about it doesn't do it justice. The final track is an extended shoe-gazey type piece, Lose Me On The Way.

Avoid this album at all costs if you prefer rockier stuff or like your music to actually go anywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2013
I'd never really listened to Mazzy Star or any of Hope Sandovals' solo stuff but decided to take a punt on this on the strength of a track I really liked on a free compilation CD.

Initially I was a bit disappointed by the overall lethargy that pervades the album - it felt really one dimensional and lacking in ideas. However, this is one of those albums that rewards perseverance and repeated listens. I played it none stop for a couple of days by which time I realised that the album doesn't lack ideas, you just have to be in the right frame of mind to pick up on them. For me stand out tracks are On the Low and especially Feeling of Gaze which features really woozy sounding backward violins.

The obvious comparison is the quieter moments of the Velvets 3rd Album, however, once you get into this CD it is very uplifting and actually ended up reminding me of the nicer moments of late period Spacemen 3/early period Spiritualized.

I would recommend this for those that have the time and patience to do it justice.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Her wispy, soft vocals were the biggest highlight of Mazzy Star's smoky pop. But now that that much-missed band is gone, Hope Sandoval sets out as a solo artist, in the enchanting "Bavarian Fruit Bread." If you can't have Mazzy Star, then this is a pretty good alternative.

It opens with an acoustic guitar playing a slow melody, mellow and gently. That tune doesn't change much throughout the opening song "Drop," except that Sandoval begins singing in a moody, dreamy manner after a minute. That pretty much sets the tone for the entire album, except for a few songs -- sweet vocals, languid melodies, and a few chimes thrown in.

Most of the songs that follow are much the same -- mellow, gentle, sad acoustic ballads. A few break the mold, with an electric guitar riff in the smoldering "On The Low," and a distant piano solo in "Baby Let Me." And the final song "Lose Me On The Way" is a brilliant slice of experimental pop, slowly sliding from guitar to synth and haunted-house effects, and then back again.

"Bavarian Fruit Bread" is undoubtedly Sandoval's own effort, despite all the inevitable comparisons to her defunct band. It's prettier, less jazzy, more delicate, and simpler. And taken only on its own, it's still a remarkably pretty piece of indie folkpop.

Some of the acoustic guitar playing is somewhat weak, which becomes even clearer when the electric one enters the scene. It's far too simple. So, for that matter, is the songwriting ("Gonna find all your trouble/Gonna send them away/Gonna make you feel happy/Gonna be what you say"), although the songwriting's simplicity is something of a blessing.

However, the piano, eerie fuzzy synth, and slightly scratchy violin are well done, and add some extra dimension to the pretty little songs. Perhaps the only instrumental flaw is that Sandoval and her band never pick up the tempo. Everything is slow and languid. Why not a few midtempo songs?

But whatever the melodies are, they seem to exist to frame Sandoval's lovely voice. She puts it to good use here, singing as if she were half asleep. "The way you drop/Is like a stone/Making out you're flying/But you've just been thrown," she murmurs in the opening song. While these are very simple, they are also beautiful in their lack of pretension.

Stripped-down songs and airy melodies are at the heart of "Bavarian Fruit Bread," the solo debut by Hope Sandoval. Sweet and languid all around.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
After the brilliance that was the 'At the Doorway Again'E.P this album was a must-buy for me. The album is a little bit of a let down, but this is comparing it with the E.P's amazingly high standard. Here is my review Track-By-Track
DROP - A lovely shortish introduction which reminds me of why I love hope Sandovals voice
so much.
SUZANNE - Somehow reminds me of Leonard Cohen, not sure why but listen to the backing vocals. It is also clear at this point how sparse the song is with my little except a muddy acoustic guitar, harmonica and Hope. The feeling is utter melancholia. A nice song
BUTTERFLY MORNINGS - Another melancholic song, again very sparse and downtempo.
ON THE LOW - For this album a lovely uptempo song with lovely chord changes and similar in feel to Around my Smile.
BABY LET ME - Another sparse song with harmonica and gentle acoustics. Perhaps losing a little momentum and maybe one you can fast forward if ure not in the mood.
FEELING OF GAZE - Very similar song to Baby let me with a softer vocal, more harmonica and chimes.
CHARLOTTE - One of my favourite tracks on the album. Wonderful picking by Colm here, and lovely, lovely singing by Hope sandoval. This song along with Around my Smile stands out.
CLEAR DAY - A Longish song with a little more to it than the earlier tracks aforementioned. Lush lyrics and vocals plus that trusty harmonica.
BAVARIAN FRUIT BREAD Pts 1+2 - A weird instrumental, followed by another acoustic song.
AROUND MY SMILE - Lovely song with shimmery guitar effects, really stands out with Hope singing 'Ive got it going...' Yes she has i can assure you - wonderful glockenspiel use here and at the end a wonderful closing loungey guitars kick in and the song seems to swirl. Awesome!
LOSE ME ON THE WAY - The most Mazzy Starish of all and reminds me somewhat of Orbish territory to. A mantra of noise kicks in which ultimately sounds like a space ship taking off (also unrelated by listen to James's Vervaceous for a similar feel) with a short Hope lyric, but the music lasts for over 8 minutes - and it had me thinking is this one of the best songs ever made?
Ultimately this album is just too melancholic in my opinion and maybe not ofr some tastes. I think it is a great record, but I had to give it 4 stars cos, the record does drag a little in the middle as there is a slight lack of variety to the songs. Saying that it is in a lot of ways a remarkable record and I cant recall a similar record in my short life (21 years). It is perhaps a little to downbeat for me, but i can certainly see other artists in this record - as i mentioned James and The orb are just two of these. If you like melancholic music you will utterly love this - if you hate this kind of music steer clear.
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