Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS

Through the Devil Softly

2009-10-06

With several years in between (their last release was 2001's Bavarian Fruit Bread), Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions are back with their second full-length release. From the start, let's just say this: commercial music this is not! Picking up where they left off on their previous release, spare and subtle musical arrangements abound - accompanied by the gentle vocal style of Sandoval whose sensuous chords provide the major strength here. The opener, "Blanchard," showcases the tender and spooky folk found throughout. It also features the simple nature of the music that accompanies the soft-spoken songstress. "For the Rest of Your Life," is haunting, featuring eerie guitar effects and percussion. "Lady Jessica and Sam" is another song based on the simple. Still, with the singer/songwriter at the forefront, the acoustic background works well. "Things Like That" manages to pick things up a bit, with a tempo accentuated by the cello and the hypnotic violin. Near the end of this eleven-song set of music is the song "Trouble," which just might be the best of all. Here, the drums come out in all their fullness in order to add to the haunting nature of what is truly Sandoval at her vocal best. Overall, what seems to be lacking on this recording are songs that offer memorable hooks that beg the listener to come back time and time again. Still, Hope Sandoval and her "warm" counterparts have crafted a sound that might best be described as beautiful in all its eeriness. ~ Reviewed by Jeff Bouma

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.