Damon and Naomi CD review by Luc Rodgers

Music Reviews
Damon and Naomi CD review by Luc Rodgers
By
Feb 20, 2008, 00:25

Damon & Naomi - Within These Walls
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DAMON & NAOMI Within These Walls CD

On their seventh post-Galaxie 500 studio release, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang again team up with Ghost guitarist Michio Kurihara to showcase their gentle, melted-together-underneath-the-covers folk sound. With each release they seem to delve deeper into a psyche that exudes sadness, forlorn longing, and an overwhelming comfort with their own talents.

The tunes “Lilac Land” and “The Well” open the record with a swirl and a gentle strum pushing Naomi's soft voice to the spotlight. Lush orchestrations fill it out into a heavy-handed release, one that should be noticed, but that is also its downside—so smooth, yes, but those looking for jagged edges or quirky twists and turns should look elsewhere. It isn't until “On the Avenue,” with its almost-funky horn riffs that any interest is piqued. Unfortunately for the song, Damon's voice seems forced and moderately cheesy. With everything together, the sound is nearly plastic and unbendable.

The title track breathes in a soft life, or light, into the collection. Starting with only a Rhodes and guitar, Naomi's voice frosts the song in a loneliness almost unheard today. This is what sitting in a bathtub for days on end with nothing but salted rice, rose petals, and a letter from a dead soldier boy would sound like. Luckily, the darkness isn't enough to completely engulf the mind or body; otherwise the effects could prove fatal. Instead she walks us through her idea, hand in hand, and you begin to understand that though things don't seem okay, it will all work out in the end. The closing slide guitar drone is an angel pulling the stopper and handing over a warm towel and a warmer cup of soup.

Apart from the electric solo of “Stars Never Fade” and the heart-tugging closer, “Cruel Queen,” the rest of the album nestles itself in the warm-but-uninteresting folds of the two openers. The warm tones together form a mildly riveting foray into a quiet country pasture, but it is there that the mind begins to wander and think about everything but the music. Therefore, it can be easily forgotten.

Though their career has spanned 15 years, and is full of great achievements, their age and softness is beginning to show. All in all it is a fine record, one to put on when the focus cannot be on the music, but to sit down and listen intently would only drive one to start the bathwater and leave this world a much calmer person than when they began. [20/20/20]

-Luc Rodgers

AMAZON

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