Spoon and Rafter

Album Title: 
Spoon And Rafter
Band Name: 
Mojave 3
Release Year: 

Now I heard this album when it came out in '03 but it never really sank in. I just received a copy of it, as well as an old Slowdive album from lala.com, which re-sparked my interest and have subsequently been giving it a closer ear. I forgot how much the music these guys make means to me. There is a 2006 Mojave 3 release, and I'll have to get my hands on a copy of that as well.

Neil Halstead has one of my favorite voices in indie rock. His notes and lyrics seem to just float there above and along with the melodies of the songs. beautiful. The sounds of Neil and Mojave 3 are not ground breaking, or particularly exciting or chart topping, but they should not be underestimated. Since their inception as Slowdive to their growth into Mojave 3 and subsequent member's solo projects a theme remains in all the work. Down-tempo and melancholy, yet with a hint of sweetness and a genuine respect and love for music, arrangement and melody. This particular album sees Neil taking over all the lead vocals, which I don't mind, but fans of Rachel Goswell (who has a solo disc of her own out too) might miss her occasional leads from past albums.

Spoon and Rafter does not depart from historical precedence. While keeping the slow and mid-slow tempo's of their previous material, it does appear to have an even more meticulous and melodic approach on all the songs. Everything sounds really well worked out, it is all just perfect enough to sound amazing and great, but still retains a light, airy, and organic feel. And while this might not be a soundtrack for a roudy party, it is nice to listen too about any other time. Midwestern road-trips, coffee-shops, lo-key get togethers. I feel that people who appreciate musicality and the craft of writing and recording a song will enjoy listening to any of the Mojave 3 catalog.

I haven't decided if the song-writing is stronger on this album, but I am sure that the quality of recording and orchestration is top-notch, and for that this is as good as any other Mojave 3 (or slow-alt-country album) to get. So please, go to your recordstore and give Neil, Ian, Rachel, Simon and Alan your money. You will like their music.