Sultry singer/songwriter Michelle Casillas' band, Ursa Minor, blurs the line between folk, jazz, and experimental music on the group's debut, Silent Moving Picture, with haunting, spare, even cinematic songs. From the dreamy opener, "Works Like a Charm," to the noir-ish "Damage Control" and "The Frame," Silent Moving Picture sounds as bold and original as Portishead's Dummy. Throughout the album, the band maintains a subtly powerful and consistent tone while hopscotching from a PJ Harvey swagger ("Down Like That Again") to Tori Amos-style elegance ("Crossing Lines") to a backwoods feeling worthy of Cat Power ("Missippiland"). The most ambitious track on the record comes in the form of a cover of Jane's Addiction's classic "Summertime Rolls" -- and Casillas and company pull it off beautifully. Silent Moving Picture is an album that spotlights an amazing voice that would impress fans of Joni Mitchell, but the delicate instrumentation is equally as moving.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano