Saddle Creek | Now It's Overhead | Reviews


Fall Back Open

Author: Chris Acosta
04/20/2003 | | | Album Review
Play track one your eyelids flutter a bit before they open to a clear morning sky that won't let you up from your bed. The air looks fuzzy, like the dream you've left behind. Still in a half-sleep daze you're led by your ear around the morning, driven by the rains of a gentle score composed by Andy LeMaster. Fall Back Open, his second album since he and drummer Clay Leverett collaborated with Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor of Azure Ray to form, Now It's Overhead, can only be described as a pleasant semi-lucid dream. The kind of dream that, depending on the circumstances, could provoke tears of joy with as much potency and as much ease as it could tears of self destructing sorrow. From start to sad finish the production by LeMaster, which is as flawless as their debut, keeps a consistent tone with a fairly steady pace that pauses only at the appropriate moments and builds up in a tasteful and effective way that demands genuine emotion every time you listen.

Although this is obviously a more mature album than their first it's impossible to say that one is better than the other, they both capture a mood and hold it throughout each track. The artwork done for the album by Amy Borezo and LeMaster are as much an instrument as the ones that make up its sound. All of this together with LeMaster's soothing voice and intense lyrics will do you a favor that is likely to be as needed as it is hard to take, it will illustrate your mood. Now It's Overhead albums, like Azure Ray's, have a definite therapeutic quality. Their sound can be recognized by the harmonics created from the brilliant mixture of strings, synth, and back up vocals from Fink, Taylor, and Leverett.

Fall Back Open starts at its fastest pace and winds down to the title track, which features a number of guests including back up vocals by Conor Oberst and is right where it belongs, at the albums center. Track six still drifting, after being aroused from the haze of morning by a turn towards the more folk-oriented sound of "The Decision Made Itself" you end up right were you started, in a trance, until the final track, "A Little Consolation." This particular track awakens you to the realization that until that moment you weren't awake at all. After this, the perfect ending, you are left to rise on your own and sleepwalk through the rest of your lucid day.

8 out of 10
Fall Back Open

Fall Back Open

CD / MP3