Hyacinths And Thistles
Is Stephen Merritt insane or brilliant? On this latest opus of an album, he creates a collection of songs that get their voices from a beautiful assortment of guests that includes Momus, Sally Timms, Bob Mould, Gary Numan, Marc Almond, and more. These voices fill each mostly-short song with elements of themselves or the bands they have come from. Stephen Merritt crafts his songs in order to fit the artist he’s working with, and it’s almost heartbreaking at times. The songs are poetic and melancholy, with hidden pop elements floating through the sadness… so smooth. From Cibo Matto to the Squirrel Nut Zippers, from St. Etienne to Combustible Edison, everyone who listens to this album will find their own favorite, and fall asleep maybe softly weeping to the memory of the beauty they heard. For me? I can’t help but stare out the window, smoke drifting, and listen to Marc Almond croon against ocean waves and keyboards.
Merge Records, Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC 27514; http://www.mrg2000.com