Techniques of Speed Hypnosis

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Edsel's early-'90s work tended to let its dream pop influences get bogged down in American rock sounds -- Strange Loop had the muddled and unfocused qualities of many atmospheric but distinctly American rock records, and The Everlasting Belt Co. lacked the dreamy influences altogether, sporting a straight-out rock sound. Techniques of Speed Hypnosis finally organizes all of these sounds into an appealing whole: the record powers down and lays off of the rock bombast that cropped up on previous releases, resulting in reserved and comfortable sound, but even when it moves in a rock direction ("Glazed by the Cold Front"), things sound much better than they did on any of Edsel's earlier records. The use of short instrumental interludes to set off the album's full compositions helps as well. Techniques of Speed Hypnosis gives the impression that Edsel have done some serious thinking and composition, and managed to draw their sound into an area that's mostly their own.

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