NY's Essex Green has present and former members of Guppyboy and The Ladybug Transistor. This is their second full-length and Merge debut. Songs soar on billowy clouds of organ and flute, or rock with an infectious, catchy beat. Music that conjures time and place.
This group's area code may suggest an ordinary Brooklyn address, but its spiritual home is harder to place. On "Old Dominion," the trio visits the pastoral California coast to indulge in some bright harmonizing in the style of the Mamas & the Papas
; "The Late Great Cassiopia" takes a jaunty stroll through the Kinks
' tree-lined London streets; and the misleadingly titled closing track, "Berlin," actually signals a summer spent in Baja, with its leisurely verses and light touches of Latin percussion recalling the naïve baroque pop of the Association
. Maybe it's not so much a question of place as time. The follow-up to the group's ambitious 1999 debut, Everything Is Green
, is a diverse and engaging work, expanding on the delicate psychedelic touches of its predecessor while updating the Essex Green's vivid '60s influenced pastiche. The Long Goodbye
is all over the map and it's wonderful. --Aidin Vaziri