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Dear Nora

There Is No Home

(Magic Marker; US: 24 Oct 2006)

The last album from this Portland outfit is an eclectic bit of work that rarely leaves one bored. Whether it is the drone-ful “The Dream Five” that ebbs and flows like a Ry Cooder instrumental. Meanwhile, the group, led by Katy Davidson, continues its experimentation on the frantic and hectic “Nora In Berlin” that brings to mind Yo La Tengo or Sonic Youth. When Davidson sings, as she does on “My Friend And I (For Gretchen)”, thoughts of Julie Doiron’s fragile pipes are instantly comparable while the first mainstream semblance of indie rock is the tender, catchy “Defeated And Lonely”. This soft, whispered delivery shines during the six-minute “Solo Wanderer”. Throughout it all, Dear Nora manages to create very solid ditties with the slightest of ease judging by the rather barren, lo-fi approach to the minute-long “I’m An Outcast” and the poppy “The Flats of Irony”. Some hippie-laced, spacey guitar work drives “(I Can’t Believe I Left) California” with great results.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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