REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
splendid > reviews > 10/19/2004
Rachel Goswell
Rachel Goswell
Waves Are Universal
4AD


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Deelay"

Buy me now
"Bad news, I fell over sideways today / Didn't take that step forward". Those are the first words out of Rachel Goswell's mouth on Waves Are Universal, and there you go: the former Slowdive chanteuse and current Mojave 3 member falls sideways into a light impasse on her solo debut, cushioned by acoustic folk, hand percussion and her own dreamy voice, instead of marching ahead to a stronger, more clearly defined artistic destination.

The songs themselves don't exactly offend. Some of them surprise with tastefully eclectic instrumentation and understated finesse -- opener "Warm Summer Sun" starts out as a gentle changing-of-leaves ballad, then lopes off into mistier territory with pipes and accordion, while instrumentally anemic tracks like "Gather Me Up" and "Hope" are fleshed out with dry pump organ touches. Goswell sounds strongest when she adds a few instrumental layers behind her voice (see the grey-sounding "Deelay") or, unsurprisingly, brings out the reverb (on the ghostly "Coastline").

But a few numbers, like "No Substitute", which suffers from malnourished lyrics ("I just wanna leave this place and come runnin' to you"), or the almost adult-contemporary "Hope", stretch the album too thin to be entirely satisfying -- and there are too many ambitious singer/songwriter albums out there to easily justify any water-treading. Unless, of course, you don't mind the inertia.



REVIEWS:

12/31/2005:
Ladytron

Brian Cherney

Tomas Korber

UHF

The Rude Staircase

Dian Diaz

12/30/2005:
Helloween

PTI

The Crimes of Ambition

Karl Blau

Rosetta

Gary Noland

12/29/2005:
Tommy and The Terrors

Blacklisted

Bound Stems

Gary Noland

Carlo Actis Dato and Baldo Martinez

Quatuor Bozzoni

12/28/2005:
The Positions

Comet Gain

Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe

Secret Mommy

The Advantage

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records

12/27/2005:
The Slow Poisoner

Alan Sondheim & Ritual All 770

Davenport

Beaumont

Five Corners Jazz Quintet

Cameron McGill

Drunk With Joy

12/26/2005:
10 Ft. Ganja Plant

The Hospitals

Ross Beach

Big Star

The Goslings

Lair of the Minotaur

Koji Asano



Splendid looks great in Firefox. See for yourself.
Get Firefox!


FEATURES:
Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste probably didn't even know that he'd be the subject of Jennifer Kelly's final Splendid interview... but he is!



DEPARTMENTS:
That Damn List Thing
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo
Bookshelf
Pointless Questions
File Under
Pointless Questions
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo


ARCHIVE:
Read reviews from the last 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, or search our review archive.

It's back! Splendid's daily e-mail update will keep you up to date on our latest reviews and articles. Subscribe now!
Your e-mail address:    
REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
All content ©1996 - 2011 Splendid WebMedia. Content may not be reproduced without the publisher's permission.