Century Flower

Shelleyan Orphan

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Century Flower Review

by Nitsuh Abebe

Shelleyan Orphan deal in a type of art-rock that you'd expect to find on a label like 4AD; it's reserved, baroque, and endlessly beautiful. Century Flower, despite occasional lapses into cheesy art-rock cliches, features some great songwriting in this vein -- the only problem is that slick, overly clean production makes the wonderful arrangements sound sterile and trite (a flaw which truly crippled the album that followed, Humroot). This is a shame, since the duo manages to use classical instruments like cellos, accordians, and oboes in a way that's anything but overdone, and singer Carolyn Crawley's voice works perfectly with the baroque style. A few flaws in production, however, shouldn't keep anyone away from such a well-written and uniquely styled album, -- especially on wonderful tracks like "Shatter" and "Tar Baby."

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