Reveries Matchmakers Volume 2: The Music of Sade

The Reveries (one of the many super-groups of Toronto, ON's now-defunct Rat-Drifting label) are truly psychedelic music, eliciting a peculiar, conflicting mix of emotions ― confusion, nostalgia, laughter and wonder ― simultaneously. Using a strange process where waterproof speakers outputting their instruments are inserted into each other's mouths (while singing), their treatment of covers ends up anything but faithful. Words are garbled, while fringes of their signature trip-to-the-dentist wah-wah lap in and out like shrivelled ocean waves. Definitely playful, their oddball M.O. is always executed with a delicately clumsy beauty that undermines any ostensible novelty or silliness. On this disc, their sound has become more lithe, sensuous and funky, while still maintaining their frayed surrealism. Ryan Driver's street sweeper bristle bass (think ruler-on-the-edge-of-a-table) is sturdier-sounding than before. Their CSN&Y-tinged harmonies (Driver, Doug Tielli and Eric Chenaux share vocal duties) still hold up remarkably well, even though their marble-mouthed falsettos individually are more soul-tinged than ever. Jean Martin's drumming exercises a coy restraint, creating a great anchor amidst the waywardness wooziness. While it may sound hyperbolic, there is simply no other group in the world like the Reveries, and this is their best recording. (Barnyard)