Remy Zero, Villa Elaine

by Sarah Zupko

 

With very little fanfare, Alabama-bred Remy Zero have done the near impossible—they’ve squeezed some originality and drop-dead beauty out of the standard guitar band format. Of course, Radiohead excels at precisely the same thing, so it’s no wonder they are big fans of Remy Zero themselves. But Remy Zero are no mere Radiohead copyists. Villa Elaine their second release is both strikingly original and thoroughly compelling in vision—an album in the old sense of the word, not merely a collection of songs.

“Hollow” combines pure Queen pomp with shades of end of the millennium anxiety. “Life in the Rain” is the most subtle and affecting rock song I’ve heard this year—mixing complex dynamics and layering ala OK Computer with an impassioned vulnerability. The music is carefully composed, stunning artrock that ranks alongside Radiohead and The Verve in its quality and Cinjun Tate’s strong emotive voice is rather akin to Thom Yorke crossed with Freddie Mercury—both outstanding singers in a genre that doesn’t boast many great singers. It’s a shame that Villa Elaine has been so roundly ignored because Remy Zero have proven here that they most assuredly belong in the big leagues.

cover art

Remy Zero

Villa Elaine

(DGC)

Villa Elaine

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello's 'Imperial Bedroom'

// Sound Affects

"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

READ the article