Sky Cries Mary moved to a major label for 1997's Moonbathing on Sleeping Leaves and co-produced the album with Paul Fox. There's not much sign of a shift in the band's sound, though. Like their previous release, Sky Cries Mary combines trip-hop, electronica, and psychedelic rock into a dense, alluring sound. The lyrics are still somewhat suspect, seeming to strive for a quasi-mystical feel, and impenetrable. That aspect is hardly important, though, since Moonbathing on Sleeping Leaves is so arresting sonically. The soundscapes constantly shift from dreamy to grungy to thunderous. On "An Ant, the Stars, an Owl, and Its Prey," a trippy, psychedelic opening gives way to sweeping strings and Anisa Romero's soaring vocals. "Moonbathing" is anchored by a fuzz bass, contrasting the whimsical lyrics. "Queen of Slug Theater" features a hypnotic march and a background vocal chant and "Smoke Break" is moody and percussive-laden. It makes Moonbathing on Sleeping Leaves a similar, yet worthy, follow-up to This Timeless Turning.
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon