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4.3 out of 5 stars
Seasons of Your Day
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
"Seasons of your day" comes after a humongous seventeen year gap since Mazzy Star's last album. It reflects in turn the dissolution of the band in the nineties and their tortuously slow reunion kick started by the lovely single "Common Burn" at the heart of this album. In their prime Hope Sandoval and David Roback not only recorded the national anthem of dreamy pop "Fade into you" but also prefigured a host of bands who have followed in there footsteps not least Beach House. It is good to have them back and check out the excellent article on the history of this intriguing musical partnership in the October edition of Uncut.

For those of you who own any Mazzy Star long players like the excellent "So tonight I might see" this new album will not represent a radical departure once you slip on the headphones. The minimalist and languid nature of the album is completely in tune with their previous work ethic as is the dusky quality of Sandoval's voice accompanied by the brilliant guitar playing of Roback. Highlights include the late great Bert Jansch's accompaniment on the powerful folk blues "Spoon", the excellent opener "In the kingdom" which really does show the debt that Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally owe to this band and the lovely country acoustics of "Flying Low" where the band head into territory usually occupied by the Handsome Family. The haunting "California"in turn reprises all that is good about the music of Mazzy Star while the slow blues of "Does somebody have your baby now" feels like it floats in the ether its so effortless. Ultimately some may complain that to return after such a long hiatus with an album that it completely consistent with work done in the 1980's and 1990's is a missed opportunity. That would be churlish. Mazzy Star produce beautiful music and in a week where the world has seen much ugliness "Seasons of your day" is almost therapeutic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 September 2013
It has been an astonishing 17-years since the last Mazzy Star album, the underrated "Among My Swan" (1996). After that subdued album Mazzy Star (effectively the duo of David Roback and Hope Sandoval) apparently kept collaborating and recording together, discarding most of their efforts until they came up with the 10-tracks on "Seasons Of Your Day". Well simply put it is a gem provided you've can get into the right mind-set. This ain't pop music, as it has always been with Mazzy Star a significant portion is post-Velvets drone rock but with a few (minor) new twists....

A surprising number of the tracks are acoustic and therefore quite folky including a beautiful duet with the late, great Bert Jansch on the fade out to the 6 minute long "Spoon". Furthermore there are tasteful touches of slide guitar here and there until the final track, "Flying Low" where Roback really tears at his guitar with his slide hitting a potent laidback bluesy groove. Most of the tracks are meditative and quietly melancholic with Sandoval's deliciously narcotic sleepy vocals proving a world weary accompaniment to Roback's supremely evocative music. The fastest track is probably "Lay Myself Down", the B-Side of 2011's excellent 'Common Burn' single (also here), which has a bit of a country influence with some excellent pedal steel licks threading through the tune reminding me if anything of Jerry Garcia's amazing steel work on the 1st 'New Riders of the Purple Sage' LP from 1971.

Therefore a definite recommendation for anyone who enjoyed the music of the first era of this great band in the early/mid-90's and also for anyone too young for that but is curious to find out what all the fuss was about. Ultimately no-one does this sort 'dream-pop' thing better and let's hope the duo don't spend another 17-years coming up with a sequel (the positive press that has resulted from Mazzy Star's reappearance proves that they have been much missed and on this exceptionally strong showing for good reason).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2013
Many have tried to copy and many have got nowhere near. That voice, that echo, that lazily gorgeous strum, that rhythm that writhes around you like cigarette smoke, that artwork, even the font !! I love this band so much. This could be first, second, third or twentieth album. Doesn't matter. They are mazzy star and I hope they do this again in another 17 years!!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2013
The title of the review refers to one thing - the 2x12" 180gm vinyls that come in a sumptuously designed gatefold sleeve are actually beautifully purple coloured, but don't worry about any quality off-set (if you're canny you won't even open it, but I had to know). There aren't any amazing pictures of Hope inside, just a couple of single shots, one of Hope and one of David.

SO HERE'S THE ONE THING: it comes with a nicely designed little "dropcard" with a code on it that grants you mp3 downloads - though I ant tell you exactly what because although the process also involves registering an email, [b]THE DROP CARD IS ABSOLUTELY A ONE-SHOT-ONLY DEAL[/b] - so make very sure your Internet connection's stable (and not being screwed with or the router restarted by some other d**k who lives in the house) whilst you're downloading, because once used, it will NOT allow you to re-enter it, for any reason. You have to contact the site admin who are courteous but secretly probably don't believe you. Really stupid system for anti piracy protection or whatever it's for.

Mazzy Star are probably one of the handful of truly independent artists left in a truly globally duplicitous scene the major label owners have the audacity to promote as free from corporate control and carefully packaged products of bands they push out of their asses. And for this fact alone , you should go and buy a mazzy star release to support them.

Hope's voice just gets sweeter and richer with years, and she looks like she's barely aged a day, and there're only a few grey whiskers in David's sideburns. And stylistically it's almost a return to roots, with a little more sass, the confidence of the years past between the two, and some extra groovy which I'm sure is Colm's MBV influence, though there's never a hint of [i]that[/i] style when he plays with Mazzy.

The music is on the whole what you'd expect - it's lovely, mellow, smoke one in the bath mellow with the familiar drifting, lilting but overall soaring (self consciously) whisps of sexual melancholy that only Hope can produce - fulfilling, but not quite their best, which they still reserve for reserved live performances.

Let's have another a bit quicker though, eh?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2013
Five stars for the music - little contest there. I've been aware of the name but never heard the music until I was casually browsing in my local retailer (support them, please. It was £16 vs Amazon's sudden increase to £22) and this was on their system. Whilst I'm typically cautious about buying on impulse, instinct - and extended lingering in the store - reassured me this album is a no-brainer for cold dark evenings. I note that other reviewers, more familiar with Hope Sandoval and David Roback, have suggested it's too 'samey'. That's fine by me.

No, what concerns me relates specifically to the vinyl album I'm now listening to. Someone messed up with the quality control, it seems.
Firstly, both the vinyl are Sides 1 and 2 (ie. 3 and 4 is missing). I don't need a repeat copy of the vinyl, thanks. I'd like to hear the other two sides, please. That can be easily rectified.
What isn't so straightforward is the mastering. Or maybe the fault lies in the pressing; I can't really pinpoint the fault. But the record seems "squashed" into a confined auditory tunnel. Anytime the frequencies extend beyond this, it distorts unpleasantly. This is most noticeable on Hope's vocals, unfortunately. Has this record been mastered off a 16-bit CD? The vinyl is a satisfyingly weighty 180gm, free of pops, clicks and nicely flat. But it sounds wrong.

I don't write this as a complaint, but more a warning in case anyone else receives such a dud copy. The music is exquisite.... I want to carry on enjoying it. But not with this vinyl copy. Perhaps that is why Amazon has published the following under their Product Description:
"Note: This is not an audiophile pressing but an indie release with the format with the known disadvantages of the format vinyl over digital releases."
A great waste of the vinyl medium, if so.

Music 5/ 5
Quality 2/5
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on 18 April 2014
Nothing drastically new here: those who already like Mazzy Star will know what to expect from the other albums and won't be disappointed.

Those who don't: get So Tonight That I Might See, which, for my taste, is the best example of Hope Sandoval's seductive, opiated drawl, the hypnotic pacing, and David Roback's tastefully languid guitar playing. If you like that one, you won't go too far wrong with this new one.
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on 1 February 2014
Mazzy Star may not be prolific or especially original but a recording from this band is always worth the wait even if it can take a few listens to slip back into their vibe. Hope Sandoval's voice has that almost sleepy feel complemented by David Roback's guitars and ably assisted by the rest of the band, whoever they may be.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sheer beauty. The music, the artwork and the smell of this purple vinyl. After 17 years i did not expected another Mazzy Star album. I was already happy to see Hope in concert in 2009 in Botanique, Bruxelles and that was an evening to remember. The sound does not differ that much from the previous 3 albums however i did not expect Mazzy Star to change style or add new styles into their perfect sound. Not only the music but Hope's voice is for me the most beautiful voice in this solar system. To be honest i am in love since i first heard her voice. And it never changed. We were into a treat in 2013 because also MBV came up after a longer period with a new album. The day the album arrived i played it on endless repeat. Dream pop as described on discogs. Highest possible recommendation. Up there this year with the new MBV and our Jan Swerts 2nd album. Check out the latter too. It will cut the strings of your heart like this new Mazzy Star.
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on 4 December 2014
More polished but just as wistfully beautiful as Hope Sandoval's early albums.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2013
I was looking forward to this but i thought this record was poorly mastered. There was too much mistracking and predictable distortion on dynamic peaks in the music. I have quite a tasty front end on my stereo and i don't experience anything like this on other similat material. Not a bad album, but what do we all expect after waiting soo long for it to happen ? My pressing is just plain poor though.
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