As one half of Pulseprogramming and a touring member of Hefty's somber darlings L'Altra, Marc Hellner had his plate full without issuing this solo record. Marriages is simply another victory lap for this Chicago musician. Teaming up with Telefon Tel Aviv's Joshua Eustis, Marriages falls in line with his L'Altra and Telefon Tel Aviv contemporaries to present a suite of heartfelt somber songs that blend acoustic and electronic textures seamlessly. With contributions from Kate Simko (Traum), Telefon Tel Aviv's Charles Cooper, Tortoise's John Herndon, and countless others, Marriages is a full-fledged statement of the state of Chicago's indie music scene circa 2005. But thankfully, the cameos don't detract from the performances, adding a little bit of something special with each track. The attention to detail remains high and the songs are carefully crafted mini-symphonies of texture and beauty, something that is unsurprising, as Eustis' production is work is polished and extremely focused. The only small gripe is that Marriages is too short; even though it's just the right size for a release of this style, the breathtaking nature of the album leaves a feeling of wanting more. Here's hoping a follow-up isn't too far in the future.
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AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston