Cuddle Magic

Picture

by Jer Fairall

9 February 2010

 
cover art

Cuddle Magic

Picture

(FYO)
US: 9 Feb 2010
UK: 9 Feb 2010

Band names hardly come more twee than Cuddle Magic, but then again, few bands sound as genuinely eager to conform to twee-pop conventions as this expansive Brooklyn/Philadelphia ensemble. Its second album, Picture, could have been constructed straight from a twee checklist: an impressive roster of instruments (ranging from any number of strings, horns, keyboards, banjos, and guitars), mingling with unaffected male/female vocals, cutesy lyrics (opener “The Packaging” is a song addressed to a bottle of syrup), and generally listless melodies. It is the latter issue that generally sinks so many entries in this genre, so it is a pleasant surprise when Cuddle Magic manages to construct a memorable tune out of these elements, as it does occasionally here, like on the swaying, heartfelt “Expectations” or in the eerie harmonies that blanket “Anyone”.  Unfortunately, for the most part, the band comes off as far more interested in indulging in the instrumental excesses that clog most of Picture‘s longer tracks, like the bloated ten-minute finale “Brimstone Overture” or the interminable quasi-Latin jazz show-off that links the mid-album song pair of “In So Far” and “Paris/Happydent”, effectively finding the band crossing the line from cuddly to snoozy.

Picture

Rating:

Topics: cuddle magic
 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

READ the article