Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Album Reviews
Book Reviews
DVD Reviews
Sign up for newsletter
Gig reviews
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
CELILO Bending Mirrors Homesweet Music (2010)


Back in the 70's ECM was a label that used to release new jazz with beautifully crafted art work. It had the kind of album cover aesthetic that made you interested in the album, even if you didn't know the music.

Most times the music was as interesting as the art work, and Celilo is much like that. For 'Bending Mirrors' is an apt title for music that isn't necessarily what it initial seems to be. 'Bending Mirrors' works on different levels with stops, starts, little tempo changes, atmospheric sounds and songs that meander in different direction. It's music that warrants appreciation on different levels and touches a wide range of sensibilities and is as restless as it is calm, but always with an edge, courtesy of vocalist Sloan Martin. And of course there's an ever present pedal steel, which contrary to expectations doesn't lever the band into cliché ridden country, but quite the opposite, as it is used as an emotional trigger alongside Sloan Martin's aching voice

This is an album with real presence, full of weighty import and songs that could only benefit from an extra inlay sheet to facilitate bolder print of the lyrics, as the meaning the ethnology of 'Wy-am' and the poetic turn of 'Clatter of Hooves' deserves more than the minuscule print on the album inlay.

The band's Neil Young influence (circa 'Hawks & Doves') is worn boldly on their sleeve, and is evident in their instrumental colour and angst ridden vocals, let alone the slow, sometimes dirgy progressions. But 'Bending Mirrors' is much more than a 70's country rock album. As on the sudden tempo shifts and layered guitar lines of 'Pink Sofa, this is a band that willingly follows a melodic into a cul de sac, while patiently waiting to be rescued by an ascending pedal steel line, that brings the song back in to focus.

'Bending Mirrors' is a dreamy album, with many moods, that incorporates a shifting sense of pathos and at other times a contemplative mood. 'Bush Pilot' is one of the few songs that employs a strong structural dynamic to push a disguised waltz into something more than it initially seemed possible.

There are moments of beautiful fleeting melodies and sparkling harmonies like 'Sunken Ships' and others times where different sounds contribute to a bigger whole. This is particularly so on 'Little Coquette' on which you almost have to follow the vocals and Kipp Crawford's immaculate time keeping to chart a course between the echo reverb laden musical colours.

In that respect the whole is just as important as the contributing tracks, as there are a number of repeated tones, dappled notes and shifting moods that underpin Sloan's aching vocal style. There's a hypnotic quality at play that retains your interest simply because of the colourful narratives and eclectic arrangements.

On the closing 'Pleistocene', Sloan's vocals are in danger of becoming wearisome, were it not for the slight variation in tempo and the slowly evolving linear pedal steel line that offers a suggestion of gradual forward movement.

Celilo occupy the left field ground where evolving soundcapes meet Americana and the message is as often as not to be to found in the mood, the feel and the moment at hand.

The band's name is tied in with a part of their native Oregon which was once was inhabited by native Americans and means "echo of falling water" or "sound of water upon the rocks," And its an apt description for a band whose music is a distant echo of that feeling as Sloan's words tumble out, and the delicate sounds swamp the environment. It's a mood pregnant with meaning , emotion, and feelings that reflects a unique environment and for that adventurous spirit alone the CD is worth its 5 stars. Welcome to the world of Celilo.


Review by Pete Feenstra


Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?