Rainer Maria – Look Now Look Again

13 Nov

Released: April, 1999

Label: Polyvinyl

Rating: A-

Rainer Maria’s sophomore studio album, Look Now Look Again, abandons its season of recording from the offset.  Rise is a warm opening that builds noticeably more stable and controlled foundations than the 1997 record Past Worn Searching.  This optimistic summer glow never falters throughout the entire album, although the lyrics betray it on more than one occasion; ‘And I’m certain if I drive into those trees/ It will make less of a mess / Than you’ve made of me‘ Caithlin De Marrais exclaims over hazy broken chords, whilst in the racing final track I’m Melting! she observes ‘You are looking over my shoulder / To impress someone tonight’.

     Perhaps surprisingly, the absence of minor songs or crashing anger isn’t missed.  For half an hour you can allow your concious to drift away over effortless guitar melodies and vocals that float lighter than a breeze, yet accompanied by lyrics that are packed with punches of sincerity and raw honesty.  De Marrais’ singing, when paired with guitarist’s Kyle Fischer’s, captures the essence of youth and energy.

     Slight disappointment might gnaw at the listener’s desire for a stand-out song, which sadly never comes, and yet all the elements of a consummate release are present; the production has found the perfect balance between raw energy and smoothed gloss, whilst the instrumentation is flawless, and the cleverly short running time leaves us gasping for repeated listens.  Although the record never achieves total perfection, it isn’t void of it’s modest climaxes; Reason The Night Is Long demonstrates the power of cymbals, which rescue this potentially mediocre track halfway through, and the final sixty seconds of Centrifuge could give a stone shivers.  This consistency can be described as nothing less than copacetic, and is a trait fast becoming a relic in the single-orientated music industry that exists today.

A-

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