Crate-Digging Quick Takes: Azure Ray – Azure Ray

I have a completely-filled 120 GB iPod classic, the record crate of the digital age, containing my entire music library. I’m listening to each release in alphabetical order by record title – kind of a virtual archaeological dig. These are my findings.

(Warm, 2001)

Huh.

I never thought I’d get to the point where I have nothing to say about an album. But here I am. Azure Ray’s self-titled debut album elicits zero response from me.

The duo of Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor began in their hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, relocated to the music hotbed of Athens, Georgia, and finally latched on to the Saddle Creek scene in Omaha, Nebraska. One or both have also collaborated on recordings by Bright Eyes, Moby, and Japancakes, and the two also have played in the band Now It’s Overhead with Andy LeMaster, essentially a Saddle Creek house producer/engineer.

So what’s the deal then? Azure Ray is very pleasant, country-tinged folk, incredibly nondescript. It’s easy to shout “Lilith Fair!” at it. At which point I’d normally throw whatever I was listening to out the window. But this isn’t the Indigo Girls, or Sarah McLachlan or Sheryl Crow either. It’s actually pretty restrained, confessional, and low-key, traits many of the Lilith crowd don’t have. So it rises above. A little.

The vocals come in hushed whispers, and the tone is personal. And while both of these traits are admirable in their own way and certainly have their places, I’m not going to listen to this one much. If at all, ever again. Sorry, Azure Ray.

RIYL: Saddle Creek, Lilith Fair

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5 responses to “Crate-Digging Quick Takes: Azure Ray – Azure Ray

  1. Funny, for a while Pandora was consistently playing me this really cool song. Every time it came on, I had to check who it was because it was so sweet. Turns out it was Azure Ray but I never got around to listening to anything else they’d done. I just now read this review and figured I’d see how bland the rest of their output really is. As far as I can tell, it’s only that one song that’s of any interest, but it’s seriously worth checking out. It’ll make for a good On Shuffle entry, once Chicago frees me from its clutches.

    Like

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