Album Review: Marlowe and the Sea-“The More Things Change”

Marlowe and the Sea

    This charming debut album from Mississippi folk-alternative band Marlowe and the Sea was one of two discs that I picked up last Saturday at the Cups coffeehouse on Old Canton Road in the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson, Mississippi. I’ve learned over the years that you usually can’t go too wrong buying discs from a coffee house, and this was no exception. The brief album is 24 minutes and 7 exquisitely-crafted songs written by Brad Ward, with tuneful guitar and vocals, and on some tracks, added effects like live brass and piano, and while the mood tends somewhat to the melancholy, there’s a fair amount of humor beneath the surface, such as in “The Contest”, whose lyrics state that “I built a frame to hang the pictures in your dreams, but then the frame fell from the wall with all the weight. You said the frame was frail, I blamed the wall, so we chalked it up to fate.” The title track “The More Things Change” has a Dylanesque air about it, while the following song “The Kindest Words” has a beautiful spaciousness that is still tinged with the sadness that seems to pervade the whole work. The seventh track is not listed on the cover, and is presumably a bonus track. This is Marlowe and the Sea’s debut CD, released in what would seem to be a hand-designed sleeve on the little Elegant Trainwreck imprint, and it is one definitely worth getting acquainted with. RATING: 3 out of 5. Visit http://marloweandthesea.bandcamp.com/ for further info, or like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marlowe-and-the-Sea/125485327521334. For more information on the Elegant Trainwreck label, go to http://www.elegant-trainwreck.com.

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