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Horizontal Review

by Kenyon Hopkin

Four years in between records is bound to have a stylistic effect on an artist, yet Moodswings maintain the ambient textures that made them so appealing in the early '90s. Main man James Hood hasn't just been sitting around, though; he continued to work with Chrissie Hynde, most notably on the Pretenders' hit "I'll Stand by You." He spent two years on Horizontal, resulting in over 90 minutes of soothing sounds and voices. Disc one is the more meditative of the two, offering sailing atmospheres that draw from the ideas of ethnic fusion and new age. Though it could stand on its own as a separate album, the remixes of the second disc add percussion and basslines as well as luxurious female vocals, more reminiscent of 1992's Spiritual High. Julee Cruise is the perfect choice for "Into the Blue," as her voice gently sways along with pedal steel guitar and light, bubbly synth. Once again, Moodswings achieves "aural medication for tired minds."

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