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selenography

After a two-year absence, Rachel's have returned to make the world safe for chamber music-turned-pop. Rachel Grimes has once again teamed with ex-Rodan cohorts Christian Frederickson and Jason Noble to create a disc of elegant, gentle and frequently elegiac emotions. Consisting primarily of Grimes' measured piano meditations, backed by guitar, viola and spectral percussion, the compositions on Selenography are only intermittently cheerful, conventionally speaking; they are mostly downbeat, minor-key tunes, and their bittersweet beauty comes from their ability to palpably convey loneliness, doubt, uncertainty and mystery. There are exceptions: "Kentucky Nocturne" brims with cautious optimism, swelling to a grand and glorious climax; "Artemisia" drops the piano in favor of rich, bell-like keyboard tones, echoes of a distant tide and, fathoms deep in the mix, a woman's voice. "The Mysterious Disappearance of Louis LePrince", with its accordion and faux howling winds, could be the soundtrack for a 19th century thriller, while "Honeysuckle Suite" offers Ms. Grimes an opportunity to flout her harpsichord stylings. This is music for drawn-out goodbyes in train stations, for solitary rambling through lonely hills, for days spent beneath the bedcovers listening to the rain patter against the roof... It's music for anyone, anywhere. If you love music for its ability to transport you to other places and times, make a study of Selenography. Thanks to Rachel's, you don't even need a telescope.

If you listen closely right now, you can hear thousands of people scurrying for their dictionaries. - ed

Rachel's
Selenography
Quarterstick
CD

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Review by George Zahora

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