PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

Late Tuesday: Looking for Flowers Again

Patrick Schabe

Late Tuesday

Looking for Flowers Again

Label: Late Tuesday
US Release Date: 2003-05-04
Amazon
iTunes

If the combinations of names like Sarah McLachlan, Ani DiFranco, Natalie Merchant, and even the Dixie Chicks all seem like a re-hash of Lilith Fair line-ups, then you're already well on your way to figuring out what Late Tuesday (an all-female trip from Bellingham, Washington) are all about.

Not that Late Tuesday are pushing for female empowerment in the music business, or promoting a political agenda. It's just that their brand of melodic adult contemporary pop bears all the hallmarks of Lilith Fair music. It's not a bad thing, not at all, but it's not the easiest sell these days. Even if AAA format keeps the established artists alive and fed, the general public's attention seems to have turned away from earthy women singing adult-oriented tunes. In a world where Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and even Liz Phair (God, why?!) have embraced the Barbie-girl pop aesthetic, sanded any edges off, and sold their smiles, how is an independent band whose window of opportunity was almost 10 years ago supposed to make it?

Well, for Late Tuesday, the tactic seems to be smart hooks and lovely melodies. There are strains of McLachlan, DiFranco, and Merchant all over this disc, and even if the young women of Late Tuesday are closer in age to Michelle Branch than McLachlan, you'd never guess it. The trio -- made up of Tara Ward on acoustic guitar, Dana Little on pianos, and Jocelyn Feil on acoustic and electric guitars -- manages to capture elements from all the major players in the female adult pop royalty and incorporate them into lovely, nearly perfectly executed songs. They even sprinkle in instruments from further afield than most bands, including hammer dulcimer, accordion, and cello, plus accompaniment on drums and bass from session musicians. The results in Looking for Flowers Again are worthy of praise for their exceptional production and polished sound. Really, a few years ago this would have given Sixpence None the Richer a run for their money.

But in the here and now (well, a year late in terms of release date, but still), it's hard to get too worked up over this album. It is so reminiscent of the past work of their elders that Late Tuesday never manages to escape the specter of being derivative. Which is really a shame, as all three women prove themselves to be accomplished vocalists and mature songwriters. There are even some moments of sheer brilliance, such as the incorporation of the accordion part from "La Vie En Rose" into the musical interludes of "Looking Through Rosy Glasses". A couple of songs even stand out on their own as being singles worthy of any of their more successful contemporaries. "Everything Means Nothing"'s delivery may sound familiar to Ani DiFranco, but it's the relentlessly rolling piano line that gives this song its weight, and is easily the most impressive on the album.

However, Late Tuesday's lyrical inventiveness really ends with the basic love story between the now-mythical "I" and "you". While they have the technical abilities as musicians to support these additions to the already hefty canon, it's nothing that you won't think you've heard before. In the end, that's what really suffers in Looking for Flowers Again: it's too familiar, and as a result, nothing sticks. Unfortunately for Late Tuesday, they can't work this to their advantage and slip into the upper echelons because the hey-day for this sound is over. On the other hand, this kind of female adult pop is perennial, and always comes back around eventually. If Late Tuesday can stick it out until then, and find that slight edge to mold into their own voice, they'll be in prime position to make the move when the time comes.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Music

Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.

Music

Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.

Music

Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.

Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.