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Tall Grass Captains Of Greater Chicago | She Moved Through (Ubique Records)
Conceptually inspired by the deaths of several friends and family of front-man and songwriter, Mark Mattson, The Tall Grass Captains Of Greater Chicago's 'She Moved Through' isn't exactly an easy listening experience.  Lyrically verbose and somewhat impenetrable, Mattson's voice is competent though not quite distinctive enough to really make his songs stand out.  The arrangements are quite complex, but while they're quite interesting at times or have the potential to be, the juxtaposition of frequently clamorous percussion often overwhelms the hint of an underlying melody amidst their pop ambitions, which aren't nearly as successful as they might have been had they adopted a more subtle production approach.  As often as you are engaged by their muted melodies, the more contrasting components of the songs usually endeavour to deliver an unsatisfactory end result.  At their most effective however, on the title track or Queen Of A Million Blinking Eyes for example, those ambitions are more fully realised and consequently prove much more compelling.

Geraint Jones
April 2006

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