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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Ceramic EP
Mother West Music

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

March 24, 2005
Dreams have this way of feeling familiar when you're experiencing them, but then when you wake up, you can't quite place exactly what was going on or where everything came from. It all seems like you should know what it is, but you don't, really.

That's what Ceramic singer and songwriter John Scheaffer's voice sounds like - it's not foreign, but you can't exactly tell where it comes from. There's a little bit of twang to it, but it's definitely not Southern. There's also a bit of a languidness that suggests California, but at the same time there's also a bit of East Coast attitude in there.

This mysteriousness in voice plays well with the dream-pop sound of his band. The sound here is very mellow, and very pleasant, and Scheaffer's unusual voice makes it all the more compelling. I'm also a big sucker for breathy female backing vocals - provided here by Kendall Meade of Sparklehorse - and they are employed to great effect.

The biggest drawback here is the lyrics are a bit too precious at times. Scheaffer tries to get a little too cute in some of the songs, and it ends up coming off as too much. For example, in "Wake the Rain," when he says something about "ruining the Magi's epiphanies" it just sounds like someone trying a little too hard to be clever. The songs are much more effective when the lyrics are simple and straight-forward, like those in "Down to the Bone."

For a debut release, Ceramic EP is very promising, with lovely little pop songs sung in a somewhat odd voice. Like waking up after a good dream, it leaves you hoping for more of the same, if not something even better, very soon.

Reviewed by Dan Filowitz
Dan Filowitz is Toronto-born, New-Jersey-raised, Indiana-University-educated, and Chicago-residing. In addition to his Lost At Sea contributions, Dan is a senior staff writer for political humor site TalkStation.com and the president of ChicagoImprovAnarchy (The CIA) a Chicago-based improv theatre company. We are not mentioning the 9-5 corporate job. Apparently, Dan does not sleep much. Dan Filowitz is the perfect dinner party guest - fun, witty, intelligent, with wide-ranging interests, ecclectic tastes and a winning smile. Just make sure you have coffee available.

See other reviews by Dan Filowitz



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