Friday, August 07, 2009

Magnolia Summer - Lines From The Frame

This slice of deliciously insistent wistfulness from Chris Grabau’s St Louis ensemble resembles the more finely appointed Jayhawks releases such as Tomorrow The Green Grass, steering clear of roads leading to the larger bland jangle towns of REM territory. Less brash but by no means less confident than pre-luude Big Star power-pop, twinklesome pedal steel shades sad-eyes that still scan new horizons, incisive guitars crash through waves of harmonies on rockier trails like To Better Days, Pulling Phase To Ground and Wrong Chords - purely vocally several heartbeats must burn in honour of the duet with Kelly Kneiser on Birds Without A Wire, while strings smooth out the turbulence to scale majestic heights rather than the mundane melancholy that would be the most many could summon. Sure to become a classic case of the rewards unwrapped when you take time to strike up a conversation with, then listen to, the quiet ones in the corner. Not much shy of essential.
Stu Gibson

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