Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day (Republic of Music)

Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day (Republic of Music)

Does the world really need another Mazzy Star album? With their reputation sealed by that unimpeachable trilogy of 1990’s country-shoegaze albums, with Fade Into You on a thousand alternative wedding playlists (my own included), and with Hope Sandoval’s legendary Later… performance etched onto the memories of thousands of lovestruck indie bedwetters (my own once again included), why risk tarnishing the legacy by releasing new material 17 years on?

Because, sadly, that is all Seasons of Your Day is likely to achieve. It’s not a bad album – indeed, three tracks in I was ready to hail it their best – but it has a lazy, half-arsed feel to it, the band’s legendary languor now feeling more torpid than erotic as one forgettable acoustic ballad merges into another.

But my god, it all starts so well. Opener In the Kingdom’, heralded by what sounds like a church organist playing Tracks of My Tears’, is vintage Mazzy Star, Roback’s fluid playing and Sandoval’s impossibly gorgeous voice, still capable of stopping you in your tracks, weaving effortlessly around each other just like they never went away. The yearning acoustic strum of California’ features Sandoval’s most impassioned vocal of the album, a song about the dream to travel, to escape, while the languid delivery implies that a dream is all it will ever be. Best of all is the beautiful I’ve Gotta Stop’ which, when Sandoval drawls “But when I’m weary, in your arms…” atop Roback’s stunning Hendrix-esque guitar, becomes every bit the equal of Fade Into You’.

However, like many albums these days, eager to grab us before our limited attention spans wander elsewhere, Seasons of Your Day is front-loaded and tails off badly at this point, a succession of nondescript ballads passing through the pleasant but inconsequential country picking of Lay Myself Down’ en route to the turgid blues plod of Flying Low’. None of it is particularly awful, but none of it lingers much in the memory, and apart from those three fantastic opening tracks, I feel no need to listen to any of it again when I could be listening to She Hangs Brightly.

So to paraphrase the famous saying, if you like Mazzy Star, then this is the sort of thing you will like – though almost certainly not as much as you like their previous albums.


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