Gold Dissolves to Gray (Autobus)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Jan. 22, 2010
SunsetGold Dissolves to Gray (Autobus)
The Glowing City (2008) lifted Sunset into a new sphere, moving the project from Bill Baird's intriguingly manic but often solipsistic Beck-isms to a vision that encompasses more of the full band. Accordingly, Gold Dissolves to Gray offers a realization of the band behind Baird while still surfacing the former Sound Team bassist's unique subtleties and psych-pop elusiveness, the limited-edition vinyl flirting with Harry Nilsson's Pandemonium Shadow Show in spirit if not always sound. Shifting between ethereal daydreams (opener "Sunshine Hair," "Gold Dissolves to Gray") and gleeful genre spins (ragtime bounce of "Garden of Eden," string-band roll of "Hill Country Smog"), Sunset remains an ever-evolving and suavely unpredictable outfit. "Rivers of Babylon" juxtaposes piano with a contemplative vocal hum, and "Green Truck" wheezes wildly synthetic, but Baird remains at his best on such tunes as "Our Dreams Did Weave a Shade," melding his calm wistfulness into an easy and infectious pop flow.