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Melody Fields - “Melody Fields” (2018) review


Melody Fields - Melody Fields (Kommun 2, 2018)

If you were like me, discovering the Melody Fields by way of their first single “Morning Sun” in 2017, you know I was highly anticipating the release of this self titled album, which was delivered on delicious red and black splattered vinyl, where the band attempt to weave together jangling guitars, three part harmonized vocals while lacing it all together with oriental influences to bring about a hypnotic psychedelic effect, though conceptually the music doesn’t actually come off as smooth and flowing as I’d personally hoped. And on that note, I must say that I guarantee most people will be much more delighted with this release as a whole, as I’ve come to accept that my tastes tend to run more concurrent with the slow channeled waters of deeply laid back couch-bound intoxication.

The song “Liberty” is a fine extension of “Morning Sun,” drenched with visionary wonder and hushed vocals, emancipated by sensational and unexpected guitar work that washes the song with a timeless quality of expansion and shimmering delight. “Run” (for me) relies far too heavily on repetitive drumming and repetitive guitar chords that are deeply weighted and confining, offering none of the freedom and emancipation of “Liberty.” “Rain Man” succeeds in bringing the band back on course, and in a very Beatlesque fashion manages to achieve that dream laden quality of lysergic wanderlust. “Fire” tumbles nicely next to “Rain Man” sustaining the vocal lines with elliptical swirling reverberations of atmospheric intoxication that roam with a spacious ease. The album’s center piece “Trädgränsen” is meant to be a sonic opus, but again, like “Run” the song with its funeral dirge drumming locks the number firmly in place, offering no freedom for the first five minutes, then attempts to build on that construct with more flowering guitar work, though morphs into a Nico-ish Velvet Underground fevered assault on your entire being for the remaining four minutes, until the track walks backwards into the song’s beginning, ending in a dreamlike fashion, as if it never were there … and while good, just seems to serve no purpose. The compact disc and digital album end with a reprise of sorts “Morning Sun (revisited),” yet again sounding as if it were lifted straight from the cutting room floor of the Velvet Underground, and actually had me straining my ears, sure that they were infusing the track with lyrical elements of those long lost days.

I so wanted this outing to be more than it turned out to be, meaning I’ll keep those four beautiful free flying numbers and let the rest be ... but again, this is my personal taste on a very fine release.

*** The Fun Facts: Trädgränsen basically references The Tree Line. This is a connecting line between the outermost or top individual trees adjacent to a treeless area. The tree lined area in Sweden is mostly calfjell or tundra, but elsewhere tree boundaries also go against, for example, stubble or desert. Note that the tree line refers to individual trees. The forest is bounded by the forest boundary. So the song suggests going beyond what is known or visually perceived.

- Jenell Kesler
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