Hold On Love
Author: Brian Fogarty
The last time we heard from this two-piece from Georgia, on the November EP, the songs were slow acoustic-driven affairs with singing that was barely above a whisper. Ultra-cool stuff, but not as cool as the twelve tracks on their latest Hold On Love. Seemingly Azure Ray has found the genius of electronics - not the Miami-beach techno crap, but well-thought out additions to give the songs girth and breadth. Quite possibly, their tour with Moby helped this transformation or the consistent work with their other group Now It's Overhead, but regardless it's awesome. Moreover, it is not that they are suddenly the Faint. The sweet and sultry voices of Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor meet the listener smack-dab on the first track "The Devil's Feet." A slow building piano accompanied with vocals and building electronics sets up the rest of the album nicely. The next track "New Resolution" is more of an electro-dancey track that includes, at least, pseudo use of strings on the chorus. On other tracks, Azure Ray sound as if they are picking up the mantel of the late-Elliott Smith (e.g., "We Are Mice" and "Nothing Like a Song"). "Look to Me" sounds like an Irish folk-ballad and "Across the Ocean" and "Sea of Doubts" are inspiring piano numbers. For fun upbeatness check out "If You Fall," a classic number that makes you think of Fall at some college in an 80s movie (if that makes sense). Azure Ray close out the album with the exceptional "Hold On Love." Except for the odd "Dragonfly," all the tracks are very good and there is little drop off in composition. If Azure Ray's past material got them on tours with artists like Moby, I can't imagine how far Hold On Love will get them.