Radio People, 'Hazel' (Mexican Summer)

8
Hazel
Critical Mass
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Label: Mexican Summer

by David Marchese

Maybe only someone from Cleveland could make an album so cosmically yearning. Taking his wide-eyed cues from Tangerine Dream (before Hollywood got a hold of them) and Vangelis (after Hollywood got a hold of him), Ohio stargazer Sam Goldberg sets his synths and sequencers moving in slow, graceful arcs. Drift away with the music and melodic patterns emerge to mesmerize; put your feet back on earth and the ?burbles still signify as uncommonly emotional ambience. It's almost a letdown when Goldberg sings on album closer "Patience" -- Hazel's space-scapes already sounded perfectly human without him.

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