Reviews

Hold On Love

Author: Steve Hochman
12/05/2003 | Los Angeles Times | www.latimes.com | Live Show Preview
Sadness for moving on, joy for starting anew -- those themes run through the songs of Azure Ray, whose concert at the Troubadour on Wednesday embodied the yin-yang contrasts of those emotions in involving ways.
For fans of Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, there's certainly a mix of sadness and joy contained in the duo's new album "Hold on Love," which follows their move to Omaha, Neb., from Athens, Ga., to start anew.
The record lacks the hushed intimacy of their two previous albums, in which their songs were like timidly whispered diary entries. But instead they've gained a sense of forwardness and confidence marked by lush, sunny production from Eric Bachmann, who played keyboards with them at the Troubadour and whose inventive band Crooked Fingers shared the bill.
On stage, Azure Ray was able to balance both aspects, though favored the hushed side a little more. Many of the songs would be perfect for Emmylou Harris at her most ethereal, or perhaps fitting for a David Lynch soundtrack. And the duo already have found a fan in Moby, who joined them onstage to play guitar on "The Great Escape," which they collaborated on with him for his album "18."
Taylor and Fink have bloomed as artists with a distinctive voice. But the main difference now was as subtle and as clear as their music. Azure Ray has become assured and radiant, yet remains as intimate and affecting as ever.
Hold On Love

Hold On Love

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