I can see Nine Lucid Dreams playing in St*rb*cks and being enjoyed by people with less severely idiosyncratic taste than myself.
Two Loons For Tea is Sarah Scott and Jonathon Kochmer; this is their third album. Scott has a powerful and versatile voice, Kochmer knows his way around a fretboard, and I bet they can reproduce their music very well in live performance. Unfortunately, apart from a couple of relatively simple moments, too much of Nine Lucid Dreams suffers from self-defeating versatility, slick production and arrangements that detract from, rather than add to, the appeal of the album. Opening track "Sunset Room" has a weight and clarity that bodes well. Even better, a couple of songs later Two Loons For Tea get it almost absolutely right -- Kochmer's simple guitar figure is wonderful and his tone perfect, Scott's voice is relaxed and not reaching for over-cuteness. The piece in question has a clever pace and sublimely simple build up to emphasize its emotional pitch. Unfortunately, near the end Scott uses the phrase "Tragically Hip" (also the title) and some of the mood is lost with the squirm-inducement of a casually tossed cliche. Two Loons For Tea are undoubtedly talented and have some good music in them. While their record is not my cup of tea, I can see Nine Lucid Dreams playing in St*rb*cks and being enjoyed by people with less severely idiosyncratic taste than myself; maybe people who find Norah Jones to be very soulful beneath the polish. Give me a simple cup of Earl Grey any day and let some other sucker get a demi-latte whipped whatever.