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This weeks album review is the effortlessly beautiful and timeless 90’s indie gods Mazzy Star. I thought we could all do with a chilled out review week, a little something for everyone. Mazzy Star was the perfect choice.
I first discovered this indie dream pop duo way back in the year of 2008 when I was 20 years on the death trail. I was looking for some nice ambient sleepy music for the ultimate sleep mix I was concocting so I asked my pal if he new any good soft music and he gave me these guys, which was a bit of a surpise coming from a metal head.
The song he gave me was ‘Into Dust’ and I fell head over heels with Hope Sandoval’s dusky vocals. I went straight to the amazon and purchased ‘So Tonight That I might See’ and so begun my Mazzy Star infatuation.
I was kind of distraught when I then learned that they had disbanded and had only three albums for me to feed my new obsession. Then like a crazy miracle they made a new album last year and I did my happy dance. It’s a great comeback after 17 years of zero new material but as good an album as it is, I want to focus my attention to my favorite Mazzy Star album, the one that stole my heart ‘So Tonight That I Might See’.
On with the review.
Fade Into You – This was their most successful hit and if you have no idea who I am reviewing today, go have a listen, you will probably end up recognizing this one because it is featured on pretty much every TV show ever and Starship Troopers. This is the ultimate ‘giving in song’. That’s the suckiest thing about love, it can consume you whole and whilst that’s a wonderful feeling, sometimes you can completely lose who you are and ‘fade into’ the other person. The video was filmed in the same location U2 used for their album art on ‘The Joshua Tree’. Man I hate Bono but I don’t know why? I think the hipster community have conditioned me.
Bells Ring – And the loser is…not a bad track in the slightest just an easily forgettable one. I think it’s a song about questioning your faith. The track does have an awesome little break at 2.20 that kicks ass and a build up to a really great drum beat that carries the song out. Good song but for me it’s the weakest of the album.
Mary of Silence – I have absolutely no idea what this song is about, so I researched how other people have interpreted it and it’s a pretty varied outcome. Theories include questioning your religious beliefs, addiction and sexual identity confusion. The last one is my favorite as I remain constantly confused by my own sexual identity. I must point out that this is the creepiest song on the album. Can you guess why? It’s brilliant ominous use of our old organ friend of course.
Five String Serenade – This is a gorgeous cover of the late Arthur Lee & his band Love. I have only just learned this was a cover so I have a preference for the Mazzy Star version but the original sounds pretty damn satisfying, I love a bit of whistling. I guess it’s a song about art, I think it’s a great track to listen to if you’re in need of a little inspiration. The same way that these guys are inspired to serenade us on a broken guitar, maybe it will inspire you to aspire or perhaps lull you to sleep. Drink lots of coffeh before listening to this album.
Blue Light – I have known this song for a lot longer than I have known of Mazzy Star’s existence and no-one can tell me how!?! It drives me crazy! I just can’t place it. I think it was on a TV show and the scene has resonated with me for some reason BUT I can’t remember the specifics. If anyone can help me out it will be greatly appreciated. Before you suggest it Google has not been helpful. It has a very transcendent theme of watching the world and not really being a part of it; like me the other day in Waitrose car park, where I suddenly stopped walking and took stock of where I was and found myself saying ‘Woah, how the fuck did I get here?’ and the nice old lady walking past me said ‘Did you drive in?’. I’m seriously stacking up crazy points, 50 more and I get a free holiday to The Priory.
She’s My Baby – I think this song is super fucking creepy. It actually reminds me of a kidnapping, along the same lines as Nirvana’s ‘Polly’. I guess you could be a normal person and interpret it as a song about lost love but even so it’s still so damn possessive I can’t read anything other than creeper from this. What is the most frightening thing about my thoughts on this song?…and the winner is.
Unreflected – I think this is a song about mourning. A very upbeat chipper song about losing someone you love? Whether that be to death or just because people change either or apply. That’s if I’m right about the interpretation, it could be a song about passing gas but I doubt it.
Wasted – What a bluesy riff. It’s weird because you wouldn’t associate Hope Sandoval’s voice with the blues in the slightest but it creeps through the post psychedelic like a hot knife through butter. The polysemic use of the word wasted is very clever. It could be used to describe being wasted on a duty, a time or just simply being fucked off your face. This is an interesting song, it has a lot of musical elements and possibly a sly pro feminist message? David Roback is a very talented musician, the build up of the blues riff and the surreal, dreamlike vocals from Sandoval provide listeners with a really juxtaposed listening experience. It shouldn’t really work but it’immaculate.
Into Dust – This really should be the winner is but I have played it to death , so ‘She’s my baby’ crept in and kidnapped my heart like the shuddersome fucker it is. Speaking of shuddering this song moved me to tears on the first listen. ‘OH I’M SORRY FOR HAVING EARS ATTACHED TO A HEART!’ Community makes me smile. This reminds me of vampires. I have a playground in my head where I have stories that I soundtrack and this song soundtracks my future bestseller about a misunderstood Vampire who falls in love with a girl who has to save the world from…wait for it…Vampires. I know man it’s going to win me the nobel prize in literature and critics will hail me the ‘re-inventor of Vampire fiction’ because it will be so original.
So Tonight That I Might See -The title track is a repetitive eerie outro to such a sensual album. You would do well to soundtrack it to some sexy times. Just a little advice from me to you *wink*. The fact that a lot of us have got down and dirty with Mazzy Star is just a little bit weird considering how damn right creepy the whole album is but when you think about it sex is a bit disturbing. We suddenly become overcome with a desire to have someone touch us where we wee…that’s pretty weird.
So Tonight That I might see was recorded and released in 1993 on Capitol records when I was the grand old age of 6. I can’t really tell you what I was doing then because I don’t remember but if I were to guess I was probably climbing trees and reading Roald Dahl books. I don’t remember Mazzy Star but I guess they are pretty obscure and a hard band to discover if you’re six.
I will fight you to the death if you dispute the FACT that the 90’s had the best music. It was the last era to have musical movements, multiple ones including post psychedelic dream pop rock. Actually I’m not sure that was a movement BUT it should be.
We really haven’t had a musical movement since the early 90’s and sadly I think those movements of Riot Grrl, Grunge and Brit pop were the last of their kind because really where can we go from there?
If you think Grime is a legitimate musical movement you can suck my small pert titties!
That’s it for my intimate personified album review of ‘So Tonight That I might See’.
Thanks so much for reading. You can communicate with me in the comments below or you can follow me on the following social media platforms. I should see about getting those fancy buttons everyone else has but for now LINKS.