Colleen

Everyone Alive Wants Answers

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Just when you thought this kind of tangled, floating, ambient wash -- sometimes with guitars, sometimes without -- couldn't get any better than specific parts of Susumu Yokota's Sakura and Grinning Cat, Colleen came along with Everyone Alive Wants Answers. Colleen is actually Cecile Schott, a Parisian who wrenches out cobwebbed melodies that are fully fleshed out as frequently as they are stunted and knotted. Her means aren't all that unique. Barbed glockenspiels, worn music boxes, humming keyboards, happenstance guitar melodies, soft-focus production -- all of that's been done before, right? What makes her stand out is that her songs seem meticulously stitched together while nearing the brink of collapse at the same time, almost all of the time. If the album has any hindrance, it's in the titles of the songs, which might require new names from the listener; "Ritournelle" could become "March of the Defective Toys," for instance, and "Nice and Simple" could become "A Dilapidated Ice Cream Truck Ambles Along." As creeped-out as it is blissed-out, the album's aftereffect is much like that short period just after slumber, when you can't figure out whether or not the dream you just had was a good one: "What exactly happened?" It's 40 minutes of motionless in-between-ness, but it's also so alluring that you might just want to stay there all day long.

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