Music Tapes Mary's Voice

Music Tapes Mary's Voice
Julian Koster's pedigree as a journeyman oddball featured on some of the most beloved recordings by the Elephant 6 collective (including Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control) earns him a patient listen. Patient because Mary's Voice, the third Music Tapes outing, has its share of moments that trigger the nostalgia receptors in the music nerd cortex. The singing saw and banjo from intros and bridges between epic treatises on two-headed boys and aeroplanes over seas too often offer creaky bridges into the mists of time though. Koster wails like a ghost trapped in an old wax cylinder and, occasionally, as on the calliope-infused "The Big Beautiful Shops" and the dying moments of "Takeshi and Elijah," said ghost is corporeal enough to see and marvel upon. Elsewhere, the album is mainly composed of echoes, rattling chains and the distant sound of a circus crossing county lines. (Merge)