The Veldt


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Afrodisiac might provide a better listen without a couple of so-so songs (it runs well over an hour), but any dream pop aficionado who hears it for the first time will undoubtedly scratch their head and wonder why half of this record didn't find its way onto alternative radio. "Soul in a Jar," "Until You're Forever," and "Wanna Be Where You Are" are just three examples of tunes that stack up well to favorites of the time, such as Chapterhouse's "Pearl," Kitchens of Distinction's "4 Men," and Catherine Wheel's "Crank." Crazily enough, the latter two Veldt songs mentioned trump the Chapterhouse pseudo-hit in use of hip-hop beats, dazed guitars, and lovely-yet-charged vocals. "Heather" is a lusty seven-minute epic in the vein of AR Kane's "Lolita"; through clouds of wailing guitars, Daniel Chavis vows to wrap his legs around the object of his affection. Unlike many of their stylistic peers, they weren't singing about vaporizing into the atmosphere or taking lengthy naps. "Revolutionary Sister" is a heartfelt, politicized tribute to the other sex; the Chavis brothers were raised by women, so you know there's no tokenism at play. The eyes of liner note ferrets will pop out when gazing at the all-star cast in the credits. Marigolds aide Lincoln Fong helps out again, albeit it in a less involved manner. Sundays and AR Kane producer Ray Shulman takes on most of the duties, providing murkier (but not muddy) atmosphere, especially with the drums. Most producers wouldn't know how to handle a band with so many strengths. Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins chips in with some guitar work, and the Jesus & Mary Chain provide a noisy remix of "Soul in a Jar." Dream pop with a shot of adrenaline.

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