Reviews

Hold On Love

Author: Steven Mirkin
12/10/2003 | Variety | www.variety.com | Live Show Preview
Azure Ray seemed perched on a precipice while singing "The Drinks We Drank Last Night" on the Troubadour stage. In the song, the band conjures up the sound of that up-all-night moment when you're not sure if the sensations you're feeling are dreams or real: "I've drifted way too far/my arms my legs have grown too tired."
Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor perform their songs in hesitant whispers, as if too much volume would upset the music's delicate balance. The backing is similarly restrained -- their spare guitar playing doesn't so much use chords as indicate them, the brushed drums barely mark time; an occasional harmonica or steel guitar makes an appearance while keyboards provide textures underneath it all.
>From the opening "Hold on Love" (the title track of their new Saddle Creek album) to the evening's final number, "The Great Escape," accompanied by Moby, Azure Ray remained stark and mysterious, drawing you in by what you don't hear. It's a more effective approach than the album, which, while darkly charming, tries to force some cohesion onto the music's gothic atmosphere.
"If You Fall" is a perfectly fine bouncy pop tune on the album, but live, with just Eric Bachmann's piano, it become an astringent, Kurt Weill-style ballad.
Hold On Love

Hold On Love

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