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The down-tempo "I Had Another Dream Last Night That You Were a Ghost" sets the pace and tone for this album. Something about this set of songs has the feel of a Shirley Jackson novel: It's all haunted moods and impressionistic imagery, tied together with scenes of striking emotional power. In "Universe," the band seemingly fades into the middle distance like a melodic, pop-inflected Slint, with the calm punctuated by moments of fiery intensity. Elements of Pavement's warped chord arrangements and Codeine's manic-melancholic shifts in tone and rhythm characterize much of the songwriting throughout, especially in the dynamically textured "Wake the Dead," lending it all a high degree of variation and depth. "Softly/Sweetly," with its rapidly evolving tempos and atmospheres, is the perfect coda to an album built on tuneful yet labyrinthine structures.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.