Sunday, January 13, 2013

Album Review: Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain

A descending guitar line opens Sparklehorse's 2006 album. Don't Take My Sunshine Away has all the hallmarks of Mark Linkous' most accessible songs, till he adds a heapload of static and noise halfway through. Noisy moments abound, with Ghost In The Sky and It's Not So Hard dominated by static. Other tracks, like Getting It Wrong have a more electronic feel than usual.

There are pop moments, Shade and Honey could almost be Eel's, while the catchily downbeat Some Sweet Day uses piano sparingly. The acoustic picking of Return To Me is a rare stripped-down moment. But the title track, occupying the final ten and a half minutes, is a complete departure.

What appears to be an aimlessly drifting instrumental, consisting of piano and all manner of electronics, is a shimmering, addictive piece. The music is blissfully mournful and damaged, with faraway pedal steel guitar whines. It's almost like Neil Young's Cortez the Killer on tranquillisers, floating in space, and is as 'out there' as Linkous has ever got.