The Music Tapes, 'Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes' (Merge)

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Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes
Critical Mass
Label: Merge

by Jon Young

Relying on the singing saw, which generates a piercingly high sound guaranteed togive your dog a migraine, and employing vintage recording equipment dating back to the 1930s, Julian Koster of the Elephant 6 collective comes on like a full-fledged crackpot. But he's a talented and engaging one. If his first Music Tapes album in nine years suggests an unhealthy obsession with Brian Wilson's SMiLE, the wobbly-voiced outsider makes his own quaint magic, be it the gorgeously spooky "Majesty" or the sleigh-bells-plus-cheapo-organ lounge vibe of "In an Ice Palace".

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