Ume Sour is the second album by husband and wife team Rob Christiansen (Eggs, Grenadine, Viva Satellite!) and Jeannine Durfee. Taking its title from a popular Japanese drink made from plums, Ume Sour is a collection of recordings made in their livingroom while living in Japan. Christiansen continues in the quarky style of his former band Eggs. The songs on Ume Sour, however, are more polished than those of Eggs or even the Sisterhood's debut self-titled album. Here you will find cleverly-assembled pop music, both strange and beautiful. Durfee's sweet vocals contrast well with Christiansen's jumble of synthesizers, guitars, and drum machines. The clichéd praise "they incorporate so many sounds and genres" is quite appropriate here. In just three consecutive tracks they jump from drone to synth to broadway musical. "Nen-Ga-Joo" is a soft quiet near-drone accented by Christiansen's lyrical lament over his lack of time left in Japan. "Yakusoku (A Promise)," the highlight of the album, is a drum machine propelled synth-rock song layered with sharp distorted guitars and ambient vocals; on top of this are the incredibly catchy lyrics "I'm going to dream about you/if I dream about you will you dream about me?" Concluding the journey is "Armstrong Archer," possibly the quarkiest track of the album (which is not an easy title to give), which sounds like a montage of Disney musical ballads. "Ume Sour," much like it's namesake, is sweet and intoxicating with a bit of a kick.
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AllMusic Review by Daniel Greenwald