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Mellow, "Another Mellow Spring"

It's pretty much a common rule that the first track on the CD is themost important. It's the first paragraph in a manifesto, the first linein a love letter, or the first scene in a really good play. It sets thestage for the whole release. If the first track is not to your liking,chances are you won't like much or all of the CD. Mellow start off"Another Mellow Spring" with "Shinda Shima," a track that changesapproaches twice before actually arriving at the meat of the song. Andwhat fine tasting meat it is. References to Pink Floyd are consistentlyversed in press about Mellow — their bio even says they're "checkingBeck's head through Pink Floyd's stethoscope" — and not withoutjustification. "Shinda Shima" settles into a very Floyd-esque vibe. Andthat's when the vocoder comes in. Suddenly the soundscape has changed.Seems that's the order of the day for Mellow, as the second track,"Paris Sous La Neige," sounds vaguely Brit-pop. And then things shiftagain. This is one of the most viscerally satisfying releases I'veheard this year, for that very fact. Styles shift, weird sounds emerge,and the whole time the trio of Stephane Luginbuhl, Pierre Begon-Loursand Patrick Woodcock sound like they're having the time of their lives.They should be: it's exciting stuff. The only complaint I have is theinclusion of several versions of "Mellow," their debut single,including a Fila Brazilia mix. It almost always signifies a lack ofmaterial to justify a full CD instead of an EP. Mellow show promise,though, and I definitely look forward to hearing where they go fromhere.