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Mazzy Star - Among My Swan

Number of Discs
Release Date
Mazzy Star
CD / Album
Label / Studio
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol

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Having built up a considerable reputation thanks to So Tonight That I Might See, Mazzy Star reappeared after three years with Among My Swan, only to receive widespread indifference. It's a touch surprising -- unlike, say, fellow 1993 breakthroughs the Cranberries, David Roback and Hope Sandoval didn't rapidly descend into self-parody crossed with delusions of grandeur. Instead, they kept on keeping on, proffering the same combination of psych, blues, folk, and art-pop touches that made their earlier releases so captivating. That said, though, at base Among My Swan just isn't as quietly involving as the earlier records, that magical fusion of styles somehow coming across as a little been-there, done-that here. There's nothing quite as immediate as "Fade Into You," nothing as awesomely delicate as "Five String Serenade," as woozy and powerful as "Mary of Silence." There are plenty of songs that try for that, though, and even if Among My Swan won't raise the dead or heal the sick, it's still pleasant enough listening, and sometimes the secret of success is in the details. Keep an ear out for the soft chimes that punctuate "Happy," for instance, or how William Reid from the Jesus and Mary Chain's guest guitar helps turn "Take Everything" into the slow-burning monster it is. Sandoval's singing is as drowsily intoxicating as before, while Roback's ability to create atmospheres is equally fine. Among the better moments: "Rhymes of an Hour," which carefully balances a quieter arrangement with sudden moments that almost but don't quite lead to a full-band jam; the acoustic-based mood-out "All Your Sisters," suggesting such earlier guitar/violin efforts as "Into Dust"; and the soft-landing conclusion, "Look on Down from the Bridge," a bit of a church hymn in its own way, thanks to the organ-led melody. ~ Ned Raggett

1) Disappear (04:04)
2) Flowers in December (04:57)
3) Rhymes of an Hour (04:12)
4) Cry, Cry (03:58)
5) Take Everything (04:53)
6) Still Cold (04:48)
7) All Your Sisters (05:16)
8) I've Been Let Down (03:17)
9) Roseblood (04:51)
10) Happy (03:58)
11) Umbilical (04:59)
12) Look on Down from the Bridge (04:47)

Among My Swan
EMI Music Distribution
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
Among My Swan | Mazzy Star