Lovespirals

Future Past

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    8
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On their fourth album, Anji Bee and Ryan Lum have arguably taken Lovespirals fully toward where the band was aimed from its start -- no longer a simple transition from Lum's Love Spirals Downwards days, the combined approaches of Bee and Lum have created what is essentially a slinky soul album for the 21st century. It's not a radical shift from Lovespirals' most recent work, but one senses on songs like "Home" and "Sinking" that Bee and Lum have found a lovely balance between shoegaze's love of reverb and texture and the richness of '70s quiet storm at its best in turn -- if the performances are more classic in the latter sense, their warmth tends a touch more to the former in the end. "Love" also shows that Lum's interest in drum and bass hasn't disappeared, with the quick percussion adding a subtle tension to the arrangement. "Shine," with its build into a multi-tracked harmony from Bee and a gently majestic guitar part from Lum, and the similarly slow-burning "One of Those Days" are among the best standouts for the two as a team in perfect sync. "Meanwhile, Irreplaceable Time Flees" provides an interesting left turn in context -- Lum's elegant guitar on the brief instrumental track suggests nothing so much as David Gilmour's work on the opening parts to "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," though when the song shifts to "Insignificant" without a break and the slow swing of the drums begins, Bee takes everything back to the band's best heights with an easy grace.

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