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Through the Devil Softly CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Sept. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nettwerk Records
  • ASIN: B002GZQZQ0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,778 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Product Description

Ever since the release of Mazzy Star’s debut album She Hangs Brightly, Hope Sandoval has defined the sound and style of Californian psychedelic dream pop, her natural beauty and trademark sultry vocals on songs such as "Fade Into You" and "Into Dust" (currently soundtracking a Virgin Mobile TV and cinema campaign) helping to make her a modern day music icon.

Having collaborated in recent years with acts such as The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Air, Jesus & Mary Chain, Death In Vegas and Bert Jansch, the revered singer finally returns with her long awaited post-Mazzy Star sophomore album, Through The Devil Softly, in partnership with Colm Ó Cíosóig of My Bloody Valentine.

BBC Review

Those familiar with Hope Sandoval’s work – both as vocal point of The Warm Inventions alongside former My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig and as lead singer with 90s alt-rockers Mazzy Star – will surely approach this new release with expectations in place. Warm, tender tones, gentle acoustic guitar work, subtle percussion; an overall sense that no song was hurried to completion, that the duo allowed each piece to breath its way into existence at its own pace. Such expectations are perfectly met.

Through the Devil Softly is so slight of frame, so delicate of form, that one almost feels guilty for poring over it with a critical ear. The cymbal ripple that rises so wonderfully in the background of There’s a Willow, the muffled click-clack clamour of Fall Aside, the fireside nostalgia of Wild Roses – these are not arrangements to be taken out of context, stripped of the affection that’s gone into their creation. The tilted sigh of a harmonica can’t rightly be expressed in words; it has to be heard, and on the latter track it’s heartbreaking.

Left to its own devices, with you to yours, it’s easy to let Through the Devil Softly play out without much of an impression left. It’s that sort of album – one where focused listening can lead to lyrics wrapping around the listener, lending the album a weight deliberately lacking in its musicianship. But if you chose to acknowledge it only as a background distraction, it can be equally as beguiling, the odd movement or slight shift in textural makeup alerting the senses to something that, really, more attention should be directed the way of.

Known for her ethereal voice, Sandoval might take centre stage on both sleeve and in mix, but such is the lightness of her contributions that you’d never call her the outright star of the show. Just as important is the country-fied twang of guitar that simmers delightfully in Trouble, a standout that will appeal effortlessly to aficionados of Rosanne Cash and Cat Power alike, and all the while Ó Cíosóig’s backing is superbly reserved. The wordless moans and shimmers of understated melancholy that run throughout the long-player ensure continuity is achieved whatever the direction of constituent tracks, and come the closer, Satellite, one can look back on the experience as a pleasurable, albeit distinctly predictable, one. --Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Through the Devil Softly - which was released today in Germany and comes out in the UK on Monday - is the second album from Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, following three albums from the Hope-fronted Mazzy Star.

The music sounds even more woozy & muffled & stripped down than ever. Away with the cutsy glockenspiel, harmonica and trumpet from Bavarian Fruit Bread and in with the banjo plucking and more slide guitar. But Hope doesn't stray from her core sound; these 11 tracks feel like a natural continuation of the sound that has accompanied her since the early 1990s: languid, weary vocals, simple guitar-strumming, and an atmosphere of waking up from druggy sleep with your head still full of dreams.

The best description of her music that I've heard over the years is that of a cat stretching its paws out after the tenth nap of the day on a huge puffy bed. The curtains are reacting to the soft wind, and there are no clocks pulling you back into the monotony of work and day-to-day chores. There is simply the hazy "now" in which you can drift and drift.

Of course there will always be people who don't get her music - either with David Roback in Mazzy Star or here with My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig. I remember NME calling the first Warm Inventions record "a piece of morphine-induced self-indulgence" and someone else saying that it was just "glorified mood music". What I think they don't get - and I'm aware this might sound absurd to some - is that it's not just music, it expresses and represents a way of life. Listening to and treasuring songs like 'Fade Into You' and 'Take Everything' means not wanting to be a part of the rush and push of these work- and speed-obsessed times.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the best finds (for me) of 2016. I had no idea Hope Sandoval had formed a new band until someone mentioned it on FB and I did some research. Hey presto I was sold immediately, first on Bavarian Fruit Bread but then I found THIS record which is even more sublime. I have been a fan of MS for years but I now convinced that this is even better. It's just so dreamy and hypnotic and Hope and her new band push the sonic envelope even further, experimenting with new sounds and exotic instruments to create a sublime listening experience that combines the dreamy qualities of Billie Holiday at her best with a 60s pop feel for a new sound that will seduce and drag you under immediately. If you know Mazzy Star you already know how luxurious Hope's voice can be. The great news is it has lost none of its power!

This new band takes that powerful force and multiplies it several times over. This is minimal music with maximum effect and it makes a lot of other bands look like try-hard amateurs. They are simply pure genius fronted by one of the great under-stated singers of our time. Don't even hesitate, this record, like all of HSATW's ouput to date, is a must-have. If you think Im exaggerating, try to find another band that sounds even remotely similar. Go ahead and try, because I have and there is nothing else out there like 'em, believe me!
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By Rachel VINE VOICE on 30 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is perfect chill out music for those who love the darker things in life. Listening to this, i yearned for rain lashing at the windows, cold nights and the company of someone black clad and delicious. beautifully strange and strangely beautiful this is a much needed addition to most eclectic collections. Guitar is more prominent on this album than the Mazzy Star offerings, with some laid back, almost bluesy slide. Hope Sandoval's breathy but powerfully haunting voice drifts and swoops, in, out, around and above the melody. The addition of cello and drums creats a syncopated and langourous heart beat. The entire album is very similar in tempo and tone but this is not a criticism. this is music to put you in a trance like, languid and happy mood. quite simply beautiful.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this when it came out and was a little underwhelmed. I'm glad I didn't review it at that point because I would have given a wrong opinion. Like the first album this is a real grower. The tracks are very subtle and the 'hooks' are almost impossible to identofy on first hearing. I keep coming back to it time and again. It's beautifully relaxed but without ever lacking interest. In fact I think I marginally prefer it to the first Warm Inventions album! Which is saying something....
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Format: Audio CD
It is midnight, and the rain is lashing at the windows. Well, it is not midnight and it is not raining, but that is the ambience created by this wonderful record, which sees dulcet-throated chanteusse Hope Sandoval (frontwoman of 90s dream pop darlings Mazzy Star) team up with My Bloody Valentine's drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig to create some of the loveliest soundscapes you could ever wish to hear. It's a sparse sound - guitar, bass and muted percussion, complimented by the odd bit of keyboard, harmonica or fiddle - which gives the vocals light years of space to float around in. It's perfectly suited to Sandoval's hushed, heartbroken whisper and recalls the darker moments of Mazzy Star's second opus So Tonight That I Might See. Fans of Isobel Campbell's recent work with Mark Lanegan will find much to love here, as will those who enjoy Cat Power's fractured, donwbeat ballads. It's a perfect record for the winter months, one to play alone with whilst sitting in front of the fire, drowning in a bottle of bourbon and thinking wistful thoughts of former lovers as the whole world freezes and the snow tumbles down outside. Admittedly there's not much mainstream appeal here and if you're looking for a party album packed with singalong hits then you're way off the mark, but if you're after the perfect soundtrack to lose yourself in an hour of quiet contemplation, your search ends here.
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