I critiqued Matteah Baim's 2008 Laughing Boy here, then, sufficiently entranced by it, ordered up this one, Death of the Sun, her 2007 debut. It's not nearly as polished but is even quirkier than the predecessor. Devendra Banhart appears on it, so that partly explains the weirdness factor, but Baim isn't exactly Miss Orthodox herself, thus the CD is indeed her work. Death, however, is a good deal more spectral where Laughing is lusher, gauzier, heavenly compared to this disc's purgatorial starkness.
There's only so much you can strip out of any music, no matter what your intent, before you begin to lose the essence, and that's what's happened here. In adopting a reductionist mode, Baim sacrificed too much, so that both voice and atmosphere were left mutually unsupported, resulting in a greatly diminished game. In retrospect, this isn't even a set-up for what was to come, more like a warm-up diddle session. Stabs at psychedelia fall way short and a metronomic staccato drumming doesn't help very much at all. Pass this by and go directly to Laughing Boy.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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