This review is from: Blueberry Boat (Audio CD)
Forget musical opera, this is a more of a stroybook adventure, navigated by two oddball americans who are brother and sister and love cheap keyboards as much as their wah pedal.
Blueberry Boat is certainly an ambitious work, and one that is certain to devide the fanbase they aqquired with their debut Gallowsbird's Bark. Pristine melodies rub shoulders with electronic dissonance to creat a fascinating, although difficult first listen. Further plays reveal more structure to the mess, and the best songs, like the 10 minute Quay Cur are impressive and catchy. Through the haze of rickety bleeps and processed organs, a synth based melody is found, with Elanor singing about her 'lost locket' and making a living down by the wharf. Then it dashes through a blues guitar shakedown before a pensive acoustic interlude, keeping the momentum going and the ideas fresh. The travels and tales woven by the duo are, at their best, fascinating stories about unfaithful lovers, failed policemen and pirates. Some may brush this off as whimsical nonsense, but the (allegorical) tale 'I Lost My Dog', is a short, sweet talking blues story about how Elanor mistreated her man/dog and her frantic attempts to find him again. Likewise 'Turning Around' which drops the eccentricities and floats on a beautiful piano motif, giving the album a short space for breath between the bombastic keyboards and ramshackle drums.
But then sometimes the excess goes to far. The first 3 minutes of 'Officer Blancheflower' is made up of a woozy synth motif which is physically nauseating, and 1979 doesn't even pick up a tune until a minute before the end. But, most probably this is intentional, as you find a lot of the music is strangely emphatic with the lyrics. And it's nice to see Matt having more of a voice on the songs, giving the album an extra bit of weight.
Even though it's not a perfect piece of work and suffers froma few missteps, songs like 'Chris Michaels' and 'Mason City' have more than enough in the way of redeeming qualities. Take a look and see for yourself.