Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., June 24, 2005
The View From the Floor (Misra)
No, it's not the John Cale album of the same name, but it's woven from the same fabric. Slow Dazzle is Shannon McArdle and Timothy Bracy, of late-Nineties Athens, Ga., folkies the Mendoza Line. Released on Austin's Misra Records, Slow Dazzle does pilfer from TML's whimsical alt-fried country and Motown harmonies, but whereas the Mendoza Line was lit-class rock, Slow Dazzle's music and lyrics are those of domestic instability, secret affairs, and all the little things that go unnoticed. On "A Welfare State" Bracy coos, "There's nothing more ridiculous then a man chasing his hat," over a simple piano line; "Wedding Dance" is a twangy country he-done-me-wrong number with McArdle lamenting, "My last name just don't make yours complete." "The Prosecution Rests" is a lazy Lennon-esque piano ballad about county fairs and husbands in bathrobes. The seductive "Anthem" shows off McArdle's impressive croon, and when she sings, "There is a crack in everything that's how the light gets in," it's hard not to think of the influence of the great stoics: Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and yes, the Velvet Underground. The View From the Floor looks pretty dazzling.