Petals

Butterfly Mountain

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Nine years after their second album, Cadis Center, the Petals reconvened for another round of vintage psychedelic pop songs. Butterfly Mountain is so faithful to staples of the genre that it gains an ironic or meta-musical dimension. Are these songs genuine or do they hide a commentary on their own nature? The fact that the lyrics often play on double entendres while referencing every possible psychedelic symbol only enhances the feeling that the Petals aim for something between vintage flower power and Weird Al Yankovic's twisted sense of irony. Verses like "And I see by your handle you're a saucepan/You fry up all of my old spam/On a lonely mushroom day" (from "Brown Cow") or "Counting the freckles on your face/They stand in pretty contrast/And I often play connect the dots/In my secret daydream stash" (from "Daydream Stash") have that kind of strangeness that may not hit you on first listen, but will eventually bring you back just to make you understand correctly. And what about the excellent "Seed Separator," where the agricultural machine is an object of desire and dream, a symbol for the "gates of time"? If the lyrics hold so many gems, the music also features a lot of pleasant items: sitar in "Brown Cow," banjo, dulcimer, and recorder. The quartet of Cary Wolf, Laurie Kern, Tim Kern, and J.D. Tessier is joined by a dozen guests who blend seamlessly into the polished sound of the group. More playful than the Green Pajamas' Northern Gothic and more overtly pop than the Lazily Spun's debut album, Butterfly Mountain scores another point for the Camera Obscura label.

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