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27, "Songs From The Edge Of The Wing"

There are times, when listening to a particular release by a particularband, you feel very sorry for the musicians. Not because they aren'tplaying their music well, mind you. The music is luscious, hypnoticeven, and they play it with fervor, energy. But it seems no matter howhard they try, they are a vessel for the voice that sings over them.Luckily, 27 doesn't really have that problem. The music is compellingenough to keep you there before the voice comes in, and then itimproves. Sparsely arranged, and melodically playful despite a slowertempo on the majority of the songs, "Songs From The Edge Of The Wing"is an excellent first release from 27, defining in its beauty. Thesesongs are captivating, even without Maria Christopher's sensual vocallines, but her presence is what takes 27 to the next level. She weavesin and out of the songs with the skill of a siren, singing about thetroubles and trappings of human relationships. And the variation ofstyles not only speaks well for future releases by 27, but also gives ahint of their influences and pasts. With ex-members of Dirt Merchantsand Spore present, one might not be expecting music of this subtlety.Loud moments of guitars are present, but they are few and far between.Mostly, these songs are lush, languid, the soundtrack to a dream youwait every night to have. The only seemingly awkward moment (no, theNeil Young cover of "Danger Bird" is brilliantly executed, thank you)is the latin-flavored "Lone Mariachi," where Christopher's vocals areintermingled with spoken word by someone else, who sounds frighteninglylike Mark Sandman of Morphine in areas. What do you expect from a bandfrom Boston, though? A fine release, and I wait for more...