Stumbled across Mazzy Star whilst watching Down In The Valley (Edward Norton/Evan Rachel Wood). Stopped the DVD in order to find out who was playing, it was that good.
Most of the tracks from that film were from their third album, Among My Swan. In my opinion this one, their second, is even better.
For me, the stand-out tracks are 'Mary Of Silence', 'Five String Serenade' and the gently heart-wrenching 'Into Dust'. But it's foolish to pick tracks out. This is an album that creates a mood, an emotion, and for me it's best played from start to finish, maybe when you're someplace in Arizona, halfway between waking and sleeping.
Never heard of Mazzy Star before, but heard the hauntingly beautiful 'In To Dust' on the advert for 'Gears of War 3' - the song was amazing enough to not only make me purchase this album (strictly on the basis of the 30 seconds commercial) but also nearly buy the darned game too!!
The album is guitar driven, to the point where on several of the tracks you can almost picture yourself in a dimly-lit cowboy bar, beer in hand, and slow dancing with the perfect cowgirl....another reviewer suggests that the album is perfect for love making; I won't go that far, but as a dreamy-cum-chill-out album, it ranks right up there.
The lyrics are often melancholy, but its the rifts and cords which your ear will tune to, rather than the words - which is a very rare achievement for any band/ musician nowadays (where songs are often shouted, rather than sung). Mazzy's voice is amazing.
All tracks flow in to each other and I dare say could, perhaps, sound the same if you didn't appreciate this kind of music. However 'In To Dust' remains the stand out track, although others come close and, dammit, I'm old enough to say that I like something different and this is about as different to my normal musical tastes as I could get and its on that basis that I would encourage you to make this purchase, I doubt that you'll be disappointed...
Forget manufactured, plastic 'bands' who neither play their own instruments, write their own songs or sing live....discover Mazzy Star. This album is classic Mazzy; Sandoval's haunting vocals, hinting of dark events in any listener's life. Roback's folk/country/blues guitar complementing the mood perfectly. Fade Into You opens the album promising an unequalled experience; Bells Ring, Five String Serenade and Into Dust all deliver.There isn't a bum track or a filler on this album. It is a late night, alcohol soaked recording that will appeal to anyone with a serious, thoughtful and mature appetite.Buy it and you'll still be playing it when other bands of the moment are seeking second careers.
... but if I were to go, to wander in the fields in the pitch black night lit with only the huge, hovering moon to protect my path forwards? As I pushed my way through the waist high corn, slightly drunk in the mid summer humidity, if I were in love and yearning another? This album would do just fine as a soundtrack.
Less 'aggressive' and feedbacky than their first album and not quite as acoustic as their last; there are plucked strings, drones and dead-pan vocals aplenty to make this for me Mazzy Star's best and the one I'd recommend you to seek out (at least at first - then get the other two).
I first heard of Mazzy Star when "Fade Into You" was played on a 90's radio station recently. The song really grabbed my attention and made me stop what I was doing as I listened in amazement, (the only song to do that to me previously was Video Games by Lana Del Rey). The album is mainly slow paced and I could detect elements of the 90's music scene that would have been in vogue at the time, (hints of the guitar parts from Radiohead's "The Bends" in places). It is an album that took a couple of listens to click with me but once it did I really liked it.
It's a fairly slow paced album with instrumentation that is low key which gives Hope Sandoval's voice the dominance it deserves without being overbearing. She can be both soothing and haunting but always fits the mood of the song. Musically the closest thing in my collection I can liken it to is Funny Time Of Year by Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man.
The standout songs are "Fade Into You", (slightly reminiscent of some moments on Sheryl Crow's second album), "Mary Of Silence", (one of the most sensuously charged vocal and musical performances I've heard), and "Into Dust", (lyrics that have made tears form in my eyes). Hope Sandoval's voice can be both soothing and haunting but always fits the mood of the song.
Musically the closest thing in my collection I can liken it to is Funny Time Of Year by Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man. I would certainly recommend it to fans of slower paced music with a real depth of feeling.