0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By no means as bad as the critics would have you believe,
This review is from: Stoned & Dethroned (Audio CD)
This album has been widely condemned by critics as the start of the Mary Chain's decline. It certainly marked the point at which the band strayed furthest from its original blueprint of feedback, distortion and pile-driver drums but many of the ingredients that originally made the band interesting and enjoyable (let's face it they never achieved anything approaching greatness) are still here most notably the lazy, drawled vocals, the laid back approach to the songs and the attitude we first encountered on "Some Candy Talking". Critics seemed surprised at the decision of the band to adopt a kind of lazed-out, hazy americana sound as though those early experiments with surf culture had been forgotten but in many ways this provided the perfect foil to the band's attitude and in Hope Sandoval the Reids found a vocalist whose delivery matched Jim's in its laid-back yet intense style. The excellent "Sometimes Always" is the highpoint of this album and fans of Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan's recent albums will find plenty to enjoy in this duet.
Elsewhere the screaming feedback is replaced by beautifully recorded acoustic guitar, much subtler drums and a lighter, airier sound which allows the songs to breathe in a way that the intense and claustrophobic material on earlier albums deliberately did not. In achieving this the songs evoke the wide open spaces of the United States in ways that many American artists have failed to achieve. Early listens will reveal most of this album's pleasures and longevity is not its strong points but it will certainly provide enjoyment and may surprise many who thought that JAMC were just about walls of noise.