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Lovespirals
Windblown Kisses
Projekt Records


The first few trips through the light jazz on Windblown Kisses had me convinced that it was a very sexy soundtrack. Both the vocals and instrumentation are whispered into your ear and stroked into your temples. Anji Bee sings with a sultry nonchalance that touches on Astrid Gilberto, but more naive. The mature compositions garner respect in themselves. The musicianship (particularly by Ryan Lum) is demonstrated with an underplayed reserve. Lumís playing focuses the attention on the song rather than the obviously talented songwriter behind it. Perhaps itís because I used the disc to combat a migraine that, after repeated spins, some of the songs lose their shine. I interject this because Iím certain many people will enjoy them for years despite Lovespiralsí dumb name.

The droopy-eyed intro "Oh So Long" drags like a day with heat waves rising from the asphalt. The poetically named Doron Orenstein applies the sax the way it was meant, nocturnal moaning rather than screaming. Bee plays on the weariness, pleading for strength. The Latin "Dejame" is another lovely path showing Lumís smartly sparse arrangements. Adding texture -work never approaches jazz wanking indulgences. Heís certainly only when necessary, he lets the piece breathe on its own. Similarly on "He Calls Me", the guitar capable of mind-numbing flashiness, but graciously he respects us too much. The vocals resemble Everything But The Girl with the singsong of Sixpence None The Richer. The airy title track sounds like a song from a 60ís Euro-spy movie. Picture a montage where a turtle-necked bloke with front-swept mod hair picnics with a young bird wearing shades and a goofy hat.

Itís "Our Nights" that really begins to lose me. That old choir teacher chestnut about smiling when you sing really does make a difference. People can tell when youíre smiling, and I think it sounds condescending. Bee sounds like a 70ís church light-rock singer. Evie anyone? "You Girl" leans ever so slightly towards Mazzy Star, save Hope Sandovalís melancholia. I get a kick out of same-sex love songs for some reason. The sickly-sweet chorus hits a jazzy nerve again. Sean Bowley takes lead on the next two songs, giving a less garish Martin Gore feel. "How The Thieves Ride" has a welcome sorrow until its discounted-rhyme chorus coughs up INXS. While "You Are The Gun" fares better with visions of riding into the sunset. These beautiful trail-weary fables belong to another time. Lumís hammered dulcimer is simple like clockwork on "Swollen Sea." Again, Bee sounds a little too pleased to convey the watery message. An acoustic torch song brings Orenstein back to close out the club right. A soft rhythm nods like a happy drunk at the plush velvet counter. During her gentle kiss-off, Beeís words say no. But her voiceÖ

On a scale of recently re-made movies: one being The Bourne Identity (original was better) and ten being Oceanís Eleven (re-make was unrecognizably better), Iíll give Windblown Kisses a seven Ė The Thomas Crown Affair.

~Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing

  1. Oh So Long
  2. Dejame
  3. He Calls Me
  4. Windblown Kisses
  5. Our Nights
  6. You Girl
  7. How The Thieves Ride
  8. You Are The Gun
  9. Swollen Sea
  10. I Canít See You

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Mike Doughty



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