Alternative music reviews

Utah Carol

Comfort For The Traveller Jan 2002

The music comes on a Beautifuly packaged 15 song CD with the bonus of a short Quicktime video to one of their songs.

The first song "Airplanes" sets the mood with a relaxed, dreamy mood full of longing and swathed in tender vocal harmonies (think late Go-Betweens/Grant McLellan and you will be close to the feel). "Silver Space Rocket" is a bit livelier but still has the same gentle vocal power. On "Angel" you can hear the country roots showing through and . "Nellie" mixes strangeness and a suggestion of middle-eastern feel - quirky and satisfying. A few of the tracks don't manage to push any of my buttons, but overall, it is a strong and skilfully crafted album.

The songs sound very personal and a number of them like "When We're Apart" are ones that lovers everywhere will know exactly what Utah Carol are getting at. It's a good soundtrack for couples relaxing in the evening and getting away from the stresses of everyday life.

Wonderwheel Jan 2002

Utah Carol are a two-piece band, Grant Birkenbeul and JinJa Davis from Chicago. They make beautiful, mature Americana with more melodies than you can shake a stick at.

With a more traditional feel than the later "Comfort For The Traveller", "Wonderwheel" will satisfy Americana-lovers. There's 20 tracks so that if you get bored with one, there's another one along in a minute. Highlights for me include "Buffalo" and the haunting vocals of "Me and You" (check out Julie Doiron and Sarah White on for something similar).

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