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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Verlaines -- Hallelujah All the Way Home

One thing I'm quickly learning about this group is that they use dynamics better than almost anyone else out there. There are no long, sweeping crescendos -- just simple changes that match the music. It's really pretty fantastic. The opening track here, "It Was Raining" is the prime example of this.

"All Laid On" follows. It's a fun number with some good banjo. The track sounds Celtic to me, but that probably just shows my lack of NZ musical knowledge. "The Lady and the Lizard" has a fine middle section, with the music cutting in and out to segue into a smooth, calm passage before the guitars suddenly pick up again. Great use of reeds, too. Downes and his mates should give classes on how to construct pop songs. Oh, but he is a professor at Otago, I think.

I just checked out a discography, and this is the first full-length by these guys. I've got Ready to Fly and Hammers and Anvils on the way, and I'm excited.


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