17 August 2006

Torquil & Dumont: Memphis

I guess, since Amy Millan has one or maybe two other bands depending on how the term's defined, Torquil's allowed one too. I'm curious about all of their non-Stars projects, since I can never make out if either one is the dominant pleasure in Stars, and a solo project gives me a chance to figure it out; and Memphis (Torquil and Chris Dumont) has a new CD called Little Place in the Wilderness.

Memphis is nice--the whisperiest of Stars songs--but it's a little too consistent, I think. I like the balance of Stars, where they can't be said to be consistently either dreamy or anthemic (although they're usually one or the other); over the course of the Memphis CD, I start to feel like Torquil is whispering too much.

Time Away is one of the songs that make me impatient. Too much like dreamy Stars, too contrastless. I'll Do Whatever You Want I like better--a little more energetic, a little less whispery, although I'm not sure what I think of the wind section's contribution. (It's pretty irrelevant to the music, I suppose, but Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snickett is set to direct the video for this track.)

Hearing Torquil without Amy's decided me, I think; Amy's the greater pleasure in Stars--I like her solo stuff unreservedly. She's got a better balance of tempo (see Headsfull below), and her voice has a clearer, stronger tone. I still like their lyrical interactions as Stars and they're both necessary for that o'course, but judging them as vocalists, I say Amy wins.

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