Azalia Snail

Avec Amour

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Eleven albums into her career as an independent rocker, Azalia Snail retains her individual perspective on Avec Amour. The album is not so much lo-fi as low budget, its rough sound evincing a D.I.Y. approach, but Snail and her band, featuring bassist/drummer Gary Ramon, trumpeter Brian Cassels, and saxophonist Peter Wulff, get a distinctive sound nevertheless. That sound may remind those who recall the 1970s of early Roxy Music and X-Ray Spex, albeit with a more relaxed, ambient tone, particularly due to the saxophone's prominent countermelodies set against Snail's often distorted voice. That voice sings elliptical lyrics that often seem to have more to do with stringing together rhyming words than making much sense ("Weary with the queries leery of the eerie"), set in simple, sing-song melodies. Actually, the record often works better during its instrumentals, which take up three of the 11 tracks, than on the songs, particularly "Late for Life," which boasts some excellent guitar work by Ramon. The album concludes with a hidden track, Snail's version of Donna Summer's 1977 hit "I Feel Love" (not credited at all in the packaging), which again is handled in a somewhat ambient manner.

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