The Night I Met My Second Wife

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Sir vocalists and songwriters Elizabeth Downey and Jesse Shepherd dissolved their marriage in mid-2001, shortly after completing The Night I Met My Second Wife. There is certainly precedent for disintegrating romances laid bare on vinyl -- Richard & Linda Thompson's classic Shoot Out the Lights springs immediately to mind -- and while Sir isn't in the same league, there's no denying that the palpable melancholy and heartbreak here make for compelling listening. Favoring slow-motion melodies and film-noir atmospherics suggestive of Tindersticks or fellow Aussie Nick Cave, Downey's somnambulant vocals also evoke Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval. Such a bevy of reference points hints at the underlying problem with The Night I Met My Second Wife: Despite its moments of grim beauty, there's nothing terribly original here. Yet at the same time, Sir boasts an uncanny knack for creating moods and textures that perfectly complement the emotional wreckage that smolders below the music's icy exteriors.

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