Ah yes, the familiar taste of singer/songwriter My Else is fresh and alive with this one Land of Life & Times. The minimalist approach wavers in approach and movement never really finding a stride to carry on with for more than a song or two. We have slow pace, we have medium pace, and nothing else. What is risky here is the loss of active attention. I’d hate to find my craft losing out to the unfortunate boredom that tends to settle once sensory stimulation lays dormant just waiting for menopause. My Else has moments of lush harmony and oddly orchestrated progression, but this isn’t the stuff that’s going to be your next jam.
Land of Life & Times is a special record and it could be better appreciated while bedridden and hoping for sleep. It has a sedating melancholy that acts like half lullaby and half love song although far too loose and damp to pull it off. The bright quality of a ballad or the distinct punctuation of really anything exciting just isn’t there. Vocals and guitar meander in the soundscape like lost echoes attracted to lonely shadows in a park long forgotten. I couldn’t help but feel uneasy for most of this album.
“Feral” acts like a mid point light in an otherwise gloomy tunnel. This is mood music after all and I hope you find yourself in the right one to get the most out of this work but everything seems to lean on the fact that it will dictate instead of enhance what might already be a dreary state. The songs have passion and emotion just like the instrumentation is so known for, just maybe not enough lift. Not enough foundation for a release of all the pressure, all the internal conflict; instead the tracks all reach similar boundaries of breaking points and stay all too safe.
“Her Song” shows us a more vulnerable sound in the vocalist’s subtle breaking and yearning delivery. The guitars keep a pulse alive and maintain relevant chords so as to provide a soft landing for our ears when it comes to expectancy and exposure patterns. For those looking to curl up in the fetal position and enjoy a solemn late afternoon, this might be your go to.
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