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Damon And Naomi - The Earth Is Blue

  by Jon Rogers

published: 9 / 2 / 2005

Damon And Naomi - The Earth Is Blue
Label: 20/20/20
Format: CD


First album in five years from former Galaxie 500 stars Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, which like all their albums proves to be filled with a "gentle, understated beauty"

Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, perhaps most famously known as two-thirds of the critically acclaimed Galaxie 500, have in many respects come a long way from their early solo days as Pierre Etoile. In one incantation or another the duo have slowly and quietly been moving along - putting out albums of gentle, understated beauty along the way. Now with 2005's 'The Earth is Blue', the duo's first studio album in five years, they have reunited with Ghost's guitarist Michio Kurihara for another ten ornate and beautiful songs that have the fragility and intricacy of an ice sculpture. It may be something of a cliche but the songs on 'The Earth is Blue' are undoubtedly pretty, once again mixing in the much cited references of the third Velvet Underground album and troubled singer-songwriters Tim Hardin and Tim Buckley. The songs, like the Velvets' 'Sunday Morning', hide much more than first impressions give. Behind a gentle, meandering melody Yang simply intones: "A house of glass won't hide/The cracks and emptiness in your life" on 'House of Glass'. Most songs, like 'Ueno Station'and the opener 'Beautiful Close Double', all simmer along slowly building up layer upon layer to a smooth climax before evaporating off into the ether. They can, when required, turn on the power too. 'The Robot Speaks' manages to erupt out of tranquility complete with obligatory fuzzed-up guitars. The jury is still out though on their cover of the Beatles' 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.' Deciding to take on one of songs from undoubtedly the most famous and popular bands ever is a brave (or foolish)move. The duo give George Harrison's lament a slight air of a madrigal and so bring in a different perspective but still it doesn't quite work out. There is ultimately though that sense with Damon and Naomi of vast under-achievement. They seem so capable of making a truly great album of staggering beauty but they never quite manage to pull it off; ultimately producing albums that are very good but are never going to set the world alight. Without doubt they deserve a far wider audience than the usual critical approval that invariably greets the release of one of their albums but 'The Earth is Blue' is very good, not exceptional.

Track Listing:-
1 untitled one
2 A Second Life
3 Malibran
4 House Of Glass
5 Sometimes
6 While My Guitar Gently Weeps
7 Ueno Station
8 The Robot Speaks
9 Araçá Azul
10 The Earth Is Blue

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