Hope Sandoval: Singer or Sedative? | Bleader

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hope Sandoval: Singer or Sedative?

Posted By on 10.02.09 at 12:23 PM

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Hope Sandoval
  • Hope Sandoval
I appreciate Hope Sandoval’s lovely, narcotic voice as much as the next person, but her first solo album in eight years makes it numbingly clear that she can’t do much with it. I’m sorry to say that her singing worked much better in Mazzy Star, where guitarist David Roback was creating the settings and melodies.

The just-released Through the Devil Softly (Nettwerk) doesn’t so much have songs as it does a series of atmospheres. Dusky guitar arpeggios swirl and prickle over funereal, stolid rhythms, and the melodies Sandoval sings wouldn’t exist if their contours were sketched any more loosely. Her only tone seems to be hushed vulnerability—which stops signifying much when it never changes—and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig (My Bloody Valentine) pretty much just plays variations on the same brushes-on-drums zombie throb.

Sandoval and the Warm Inventions play Monday night at the Lakeshore Theater. But I think over-the-counter sleeping pills are cheaper, and if you stay home you won’t have to worry about getting back safely.

On an unrelated note: With a little bit of luck, the fourth installment of the Post No Bills podcast will be up in this spot on Monday.

Today’s playlist:

Shooter Jennings, The Wolf (Universal South)
Gato Barbieri: Chapter One: Latin America (Impulse)
Sister Gertrude Morgan, Let Us Make a Record (Preservation Hall)
Attila Faravelli, Underneath the Surface (Die Schachtel)
Marianne Faithfull, Easy Come Easy Go (Decca)

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