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Long Lovely List of Repairs
  • Artist: Amelia
  • UPC: 811481010316
  • Item #: ADA101031
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 9/26/2012
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
Price: $14.83
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Long Lovely List of Repairs on CD

The music of this Portland, Oregon quartet is surprisingly difficult describe. While there's an earthy, near-Americana quality to many of their songs, it's often fleshed out in quiet vocals and the lingering tempos of contemporary vocalists like Norah Jones. There are old-timey American and European sounds woven throughout, but they're rendered in relief of the shadowy, modernistic productions rather than nostalgia. The acoustic rhythm guitar and violin of the opener brings to mind Gypsy jazz, and though the Spanish lyrics add a helping of drama (ala Patrica Vonne, for example), the organ, tremolo guitar and a nearly imperceptible loop turn the track dark and hypnotic. Many of the album's tunes create similar moods, with Teisha Helgerson's whispery vocals backed by instrumental sounds that often seem delightfully out of context. The slashing electric strums of 'Farewell' bring to mind Flamenco, but turned from fierce to enigmatic by a labored rhythm, slide guitar, and slow motion. The song's lyric provides it's own contrasts, wondering aloud about the awkward relief felt for a relationship's dissolution. Later on the album's 'Great Escape' contemplates the dull pain of complacency, imagining lovers too comfortable to reach out for something exceptional. Most of the album's lyrics are serpentine enigmas, weaving their way into the melodies with cinematic imagery rather than narrative. There are references to by-gone objects like rotary telephones, megaphones, and 'odd belongings,' and the backings can bring to mind the dark carnivals of David Lynch. The mid-tempo rhythm of 'Tragedy' feels as if it were drawn from 'Cabaret,' with Helgerson's dispassionate vocal and the instrumental passages providing the haunting atmosphere of an empty theater. Helgerson fills the album with tension by couching soaring melodies in hushed restraint; you can feel notes straining to arch more powerfully, yet held back to court down-tempo, sparse backings that can't wake up from what might be a dream, or what might be a nightmare. This is akin to a dimly lit street on which shadowy nothings are as nerve-wracking as concrete somethings, and there's both comfort and dread in every step. 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. Amelia, a Portland based indie trio, is releasing the long-awaited third studio album, A Long Lovely List of Repairs on April 22. Their first two records, Somewhere Left to Fall and After All, made Amelia regulars on indie radio stations in the Northwest and their single "Jigsaw" even made it's way to radio stations across the country and Amelia was named one 2004's Top Indie Artists by iTunes. Now, four short years later, A Long Lovely List of Repairs is being called "One of the best of 2008'. A Long, Lovely List of Repairs features Tiesha's dreamy vocals along with her contributions on drums and the rest of the musical montage is created by core members Jesse Emerson (upright bass, electric bass, acoustic, piano, percussion, autoharp) and Scott Weddle (acoustic & electric guitars, electric bass, vocals, bass harmonica, glockenspiel, marxaphone, percussion, loops). Noted are the many instruments that the three members combined play and how it enables their music to be just as complex and emotive because of their strong versatility. The music is a mature mixture of folk and roots with reflective lyrics and thoughtful expressions. Rather than lulling you to sleep, Amelia's music will disarm you and pull you in like a magnet and will not let go. A Long, Lovely List of Repairs offers memorable tracks such as "Eyesore", "The End" and the closer "Here We Are." With their strong roots based in Portland Oregon, the band has realized tremendous success on the West Coast and with an impending tour this year is a sure bet to expand their fan base nationwide.