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Bee And Flower – What’s Mine Is Yours

I can’t decide if these guys are the poor man’s Cowboy Junkies or the poor man’s Mazzy Star. Whatever they are, they are weary-sounding band. And not in a good way.

I remember the Cowboy Junkies first album; it was a masterpiece in dragging the beat and spare haunting arrangements. They have henceforth become something of a hippie jam band, and not a good one at that. A disappointment really, since The Trinity Sessions were so quietly revolutionary, and few have been able to build on the results.


And neither do Bee and Flower. Not that they don’t try to take beat-dragging to evermore ambitious levels. Oh they do. And it’s not that they don’t have spare, country-tinged arrangements complete with “haunting” pedal steel and violin lines. Check, it’s in there. And it’s not that they don’t bravely employ instruments outside of what’s considered normal rock, such as glockenspiels and upright basses. They’re all over that. It’s just resulted in an album so plodding and soporific that it barely seems to exist.

To make matters worse, lead singer Dana Schechter possesses a competent, but ordinary voice, a little husky, but lacking the sensuality or genuine woundedness that might make this stuff actually work– like Hope Sandoval did so well in Mazzy Star. No, she just sounds like she’s had a really really tough day at work and can you please stop the kids screaming, mommy’s in a bad mood and needs a hot bath.

That being said, there are a couple of ok tracks, and not surprisingly they are the tracks that come closest to rocking, which is to say they don’t rock at all. “Wounded Walking” has a lightly pulsing bass line under ominous violins scratchings, and this time, the drummer actually seems to be hitting his drums instead of just listlessly dropping brushes on them. Not a bad track, but they get back straightaway to sleepcrawling through dirges. The nadir of this album has to be track number 5, “Let It Shine”. It wins the award for slowest song on the album—perhaps in recorded history– and lets us know that we are going to be in for what Don Rumsfeld would call “a long hard slog”. And indeed we are. Later in the album there’s a decent song, “Dupe”, that actually builds into an interesting guitar noise near-crescendo, but that’s about it. The only thing I could recommend this album for would be to set your CD player on a soft volume and drift off to sleep, but there are better albums for this, say, The Trinity Sessions. Yaaaaawn.


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