Shoegaze is by and for loners, hopeless romantics. Midrange was made by one person -- not a band of loners -- who needed little more than a microphone, an iMac, and a Fender Jazzmaster. So, in that respect, it's some kind of feat. Modern technology notwithstanding, the record has the power to take you back to a time when a bunch of bashful malnourished bands from England made droning pop songs after rolling out of bed and getting stoned. (Think 1990 or 1991, before many of these people decided that artistic growth involved becoming remotely proficient musicians and went on mimicking the Byrds and Faces instead of My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain.) It's apparent that this record has numerous points of reference. There are so many flying around that it's easier to mention the one blurred-guitar band from the classes of 1987-1991 that appears to have avoided the cross hairs: the House of Love. However, had this record seen release back then (it couldn't have, but we're only being hypothetical), it would be distinct enough to stick out from the others in its realm. For one thing, the melodies are notable in an instant for their skewed qualities; more amiable than aloof, the manner in which they're delivered seems to owe more to Wire's Colin Newman than anyone else. If it weren't for this important strength, the lyrics -- which occasionally seem to be spoofing the stunted come-ons from many a band -- would be an unavoidable snag. Production-wise, the whole record is clouded, all the while maintaining a transportive sound that is distinct from its antecedents. The several wild-card interludes add further character and give the record a sense of seamless flow, resembling fragments from an '80s sci-fi thriller score. Like Pale Saints' Comforts of Madness, Ride's Nowhere, and Slowdive's first singles, Midrange can carry you away -- but only if you allow it to.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman