Matthew Johnson reviews Long Way From Home for Re:Gen Magazine, 11/29/2007
On their third album, Lovespirals shift away from overt electronica in favor of beautiful, understated folk and blues ballads.
If sophomore album Free and Easy saw Lovespirals’ sound at its biggest, Long Way from Home is the duo’s most intimate, forsaking house beats and jazz flourishes for understated slide guitar and acoustic strums. Ryan Lum’s production is more mature than ever before; unless you really listen for it, you won’t be able to tell that he plays and records all the instruments himself – maybe not even then – and the drums sound warm and clear, betraying no hint of sampler or sequencer. Instead, Lum lets his arrangements take center stage, with emotive guitar solos harmonizing with electric organ on the bluesy ballad “Once in a Blue Moon” and relaxed acoustic strums highlighting jazzy piano chords on “Nocturnal Daze.” Anji Bee’s vocals are beautifully languid, the sweetness swathed in melancholy on the plaintive “Caught in the Groove,” adorned by floating background harmonies on “Treading the Water,” and sensual yet dreary on the pair’s stark rendition of classic spiritual “Motherless Child.” Fans of the pair’s more overtly romantic material will appreciate unabashed love song “This Truth,” and there’s even a hint of the ethereal dreaminess of Lum’s previous project, Love Spirals Downwards, on the fuzzy overlapping guitar tones and meandering vocals of “Sundrenched” and “Lazy Love Days.” It’s not an understatement to call Long Way from Home the duo’s most accomplished work up to date; as enjoyable as their previous explorations of laidback electronica and jazz fusion have been, this album captures Lum and Bee’s warm musical chemistry in a way that previous releases only hinted at.
View the original review at Re:Gen Magazine.