Friday, 29 November 2013

Album review: MAZZY STAR - Seasons Of Your Day

Highlights: In The Kingdom, Lay Myself Down, Flying Low

And the good taste prevails.

When people say ‘seasons’, they often mean a change of some kind. Generally that would be a logical assumption to make – one, however, that would mean fuck-all when dealing with a band like Mazzy Star. Because Mazzy Star doesn’t change. It’s like a line in that old Woody Allen play – “It’s my style. I show up in a place, and I stay”. They showed up in late 80’s, and here they are still doing the same old mellow, dreamy, pleasantly psychedelic thing.

And doing very well indeed. David Roback’s masterful guitar seduces you with understated intensity (the man’s a terrific mood-guitarist) and Kendra Smith’s soothingly powerful voice (which hasn’t change one tiny bit) pulls all those nocturnal strings of your heart. The combination still works like magic, and why wouldn’t it. The style, the production, the instrumentation, the taste – all impeccable. The question of melody remains an elusive one, mainly because you get lost in the bluesy licks and lovely autumnal mood and care very little about all secondary issues. What matters (seemingly so) is the timeless organ in the opening “In The Kingdom” or the wistful harmonica in the solipsistic (did I just say that?) “Common Burn” or the chugging groove of “Flying Low”. It’s only when the album is over and you realise that you don’t really remember any of the actual tunes that you think: “Ah well, nice, but just how good was it?..”

The answer is – very good. Brilliant and soul-melting while it’s on, Seasons Of Your Day is everything you could wish from Mazzy Star. In the past, today or at any point in the future.


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