Reviews

Hold On Love

Author: Stanley Holditch
10/15/2003 | Fleabomb.com | www.fleabomb.com | Album Review
On their 2002 release, Burn and Shiver , Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor of Azure Ray combined their signature airy vocals with subtle production from Crooked Finger's Eric Bachmann to produce a delicate album that was more Shiver than Burn. Their first offering on Saddle Creek, the bite sized November EP, found these fearlessly fragile girls updating their formula once again, and solidly delivering six naturally beautiful songs worthy of the accolades they received. With these two records delivering an impressive one-two combination punch in the face of every detractor of quiet music, one would expect Azure Ray to impress once again with their first full-length album on Saddle Creek, Hold On Love . The new album, however, is a departure from their previous methods of success, in that it heavily incorporates drum machine beats which at times seem out of place with their style. While this is at first rattling for a long-time fan, the album is far from a disappointment. The quality of the composition one expects from Azure Ray shine though what are oft-detracting effects, such as the electronics and rhythmic hisses of steam in "We Are Mice". Fortunately, the surprisingly well-put together Enhanced CD portion of the album, which features a music video for "Across the Ocean" as well as several pictures of the group, includes a live version of "Mice" played with only a keyboard, piano, and the haunting vocals of Fink and Taylor. Other highlights are "The Drinks We Drank Last Night," "Sea of Doubts," and "These Lights Will Bend to Make Blue," all of which are tastefully arranged so that every nuance compliments the core sound of Azure Ray, instead of detracting from it. The Beatles-esque tendings of "If You Fall" (click image to hear) serve a similar role as a comedic aside in a tragedy, to such a degree that it seems almost out of place in the overwhelmingly somber, slow-paced album. Despite this, it was one of my favorites. This is a good collection of songs, and one that might very well grow on you, placing it on the same level as Burn and Shiver , or the November EP
Hold On Love

Hold On Love

LP / CD / MP3