Automagic by Law Of Nature is a fantastic album combining elements of Timbuk Three, The Handsome Family, Alison Krauss and more. Utilizing male and female vocals that harmonize extremely well with each other, the album is full of combinations of roots and alternative rock with doses of electronica and the avant-garde thrown in for good measure.
The album finds great balance between the voices, each one contributing both to the lead and harmony. Some of the best ones include “The Time,” “Tame” and “Rain.” The guitar solos are all quite exciting as well, with nimble runs and arpeggios, particularly on the opening track, “Anything I Want,” “Fade Away,” and the harmonized squeals over the blues progression of “Brother.”
Among the influences, the band channels The Civil Wars on “Into The Fading Light” before moving into the rolling snare drum country stomp a la Mumford & Sons. “I Will Not Let You Go” could be a Brill Building/Neil Diamond song through a slightly obscured mirror with its pulsing piano octaves and quarter note strings. “Take Your Place” has some solo Eric Clapton in the vocal melody as well as the guitar interjections and tone. “Take It The Wrong Way” is a power pop song with pizzicato strings and a bounce-y melody.
“Belong” goes through several time signature changes and is anchored by chugging electric guitars and a piano countermelody that sneaks in now and again. In other places like “Tame” a slick bass line propels the song through lush piano chords and the use of a timpani helps accentuate key moments.
The only potential misstep on the album is “You’re Not Alone” which successfully incorporates electronic drums and some synths but hangs on one chord for quite a while in the instrumental, never really taking off or building.The album closes (fittingly) with “Start Again” which is driven by a sixteenth note-based bass line, which is later joined by palm-muted electric guitar. It works for a great slow build so that by the end of the song there is an explosion of emotion as the vocal holds down a repeated mantra of the title while Mike Garson-esque piano arpeggios sweep back and forth around it.
With great songwriting, great production and excellent performances, the album really showcases the many strengths of Law Of Nature, embracing their influences but incorporating them into their own music rather than copying them.
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