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Rachel Goswell
Waves Are Universal
4AD Records

Wow. Who would have thought that Rachel Goswell would sound like this without the influence of Neil Halstead. Apparently, without that bloke at the songwriting helm, Rachel was free to develop into quite an extraordinary songwriter, herself. For the first time I truly believe that Beth Orton has competition in the British singer/songwriter girl category. And boy, can Rachel sing!

Step outside of the alt-country/Britpop mix of Mojave 3 for a few moments and revel in the wonderment of this record. From the bagpipe accompaniment in "Warm Summer Sun" to the Dylan-esque groove of "Sleepless & Tooting", Waves Are Universal is chock full of folky, dreamy goodness. "No Substitute" is worth the price of the album alone. It is heavily laden with catchy guitar hooks and crisp acoustic guitars, which nicely underscore the smooth vocals of Goswell. "Plucked" is a downbeat, strings-laden track full of a beautiful melancholy feeling of lost youth and dreams. "Follow through with these feelings/ Of colours running wild/ Accepting that your promises/ Aren't worth their weight in gold."

All told, this album is full of beautiful songs, sung by a beautiful voice. Goswell always added nice textures to Slowdive and Mojave 3 recordings, but she really shines when singing her own songs. Each and every song on Waves Are Universal has a kernel of depth and stunningly clear beauty that is rare to find in popular music these days. I'm anxious for the next Mojave 3 record, but now I'm also eagerly awaiting a second solo record from the lovely Rachel Goswell, as well.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Warm Summer Sun
2. Gather Me Up
3. No Substitute
4. Deelay
5. Plucked
6. Hope
7. Coastline
8. Shoulder The Blame
9. Save Yourself
10. Thru The Dawn
11. Beautiful Feeling
Sleepless & Tooting

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