D+

No Mystery

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

In keeping with other D+ (here spelled "D plus") releases, No Mystery is unassuming indie rock that's earnest without taking itself too seriously. The songs are left-of-center in both their world outlook and their musical orientation, but get their points across in understated manners, not rants. There's a homey feel to the singing, songwriting, and recording, though it's not lo-fi. While there's an earthy folk-rock feel to much of the material's core (and an almost primitive Beach Boys air to some of the harmonies), sometimes searing guitar and feedback will intrude to let us know the group can rock out with an almost angry flair when the will takes them. Much of the disc conveys the sense that these are people who have no taste for either urban living or suburban banality; there's a neighborly, sharing sense to the music, but it's not quite rural or back-to-the-country in its mindset, either, even though it's obviously the work of cultural nonconformists. The most impressive sequence in the album comes near its conclusion, when a brief, almost gospel a cappella track ("Rose") is followed by a more characteristic gentle folky number, "Jesus in the Way," that takes an unconventional view of Christianity that won't be popular in Middle America. But as if to remind us that D+ isn't simply categorized, that's immediately followed by the self-descriptive, rumbling "(mysterious feedback)" [sic], as is only appropriate for a group that isn't content to stay in any one mood for too long.