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Jessamine | Don't Stay Too Long (Kranky)
Dawn Smithson's vocals on Elsewards evoke the cathartic intensity of CHAN MARSHALL's Moon Pix. It's a beautiful opener, Andy Brown's electric piano runs and Michael Faeth's percussive embellishments establishing an hypnotic groove. Even better is It Was Already Thursday, where guitarist Rex Ritter takes things further into funk territory with wah-wah-wonderful results. Things take a prog-lite turn on Pilot-Free Ignition, the tempo raised the mind-state subsides and, despite some effective guitar from Ritter, is lost on the rambling, inconsequential Continuous which fails to heed the warning of it's album title. The brooding menace of instrumental Burgundy puts a darker spin on Jessamine's delicate weavings before Hand Held regains the cinematic rush of the opening pair, Smithson's voice again an insidious blend of innocence and experience. A record at times intoxicating, at others diluted with indulgence.
CWAS #4 - Winter 1998/9 - The Lost Issue