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Long Goodbye

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 8, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B00008O34S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By junkmedia on July 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The Essex Green was one of the last bands to nibble on the blades of grass that came with the Elephant 6 Recording Company's stamp of approval. However, it was not long after that when the once fertile landscape turned harsh for even the most peripheral of E6 associates. Under the glare of so many critical lights and a cresting wave of backlash, the Essex Green and much of the E6 posse went underground. Here the Green resurface with The Long Goodbye to say hello again.
And for the most part, little has changed. The band, less psychedelic than most of the E6 fold, continues to play wholesome sounding MOR ripped from the '70s, complete with its golden-haired charms and occasional dips in orchestral cheese. Sasha Bell, who also is a member of the Ladybug Transistor, sings with a honeyed voice that rings out pure and true on the bulk of these 12 tracks. Her breezy vocals on songs like "By The Sea" and "Our Lady In Havana" make for enchanting, timeless pop.
Unfortunately the band sometimes overdoes the sweetness and ends up being too precious. "Julia," a wispy flute laced laze in the shade is but one example of the band crossing this threshold.
The overall vibe of this album in akin to the old Coke commercial where cheery faces try to "teach the world to sing" on a mountainside under dappled sunlight. As much as one may have snickered, it was hard not to be secretly uplifted by the sincerity and innocence of such sentiments. The Long Goodbye is likely to do the same for you if given half the chance.
Barin McGrath
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By denverwannabe on April 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It's obvious these guys don't give a [dang] about anything going on today. And that's a good thing. This is a great record that keeps growing on you the more you listen to it. It's eclectic, but there are common themes running throughout the record that hold it together. An album's album. One of my favorite new records.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By IcemanJ VINE VOICE on August 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't listen to a whole lot of music similar to this. My music tastes are founded on mostly metal and rock. However, I was browsing free songs on in hope to expand my taste to more of the Indie scene when I stumbled upon a free song, being "Our Lady in Havana". From the first note in I knew this album would have to be in my hands. This song has many different instruments and melodies forming a very rich, fulfilling listen.

This exceptionally melodious trio creates quite a unique sound for themselves, with mostly alternating male and female vocals between songs, prominent bass lines, keyboards, slight licks of country melodies, and a little violin.

They create friendly, simple, catchy tunes however being diverse and rewarding, resulting in a very `fun' album that doesn't get boring despite its relative simplicity.

The songs are mostly relaxing, keeping a steady rhythm to them. The most upbeat song is perhaps "The Late Great Cassiopia," complete with some clapping, a fast, melodic guitar riff, rapid drumming, and what sounds like all three (maybe just two) members harmonizing throughout the whole song. All these elements make for a very distinct, memorable tune.

I shall definitely be collecting more albums by this band over time. Honestly, I have no idea where these guys came from or what bands they were in before, but I will slowly start looking into it. Meanwhile, If you like this band check out the following: Paatos, Pineforest Crunch, Tori Amos, American Football, Cake, and Circa Survive.
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Format: Audio CD
After the charming psychedelic pop of their debut, the Essex Green takes a different path in their sophomare album. Second album "Long Goodbye" has more of a rock and alt-country flavor, which doesn't suit the bouncy, poppy music quite as well.

Songs like "Lazy May" wouldn't sound out of place on a country-rock album, with the drawling vocals and banjo riffs. The slower songs like "Julia" follow the same formula in a more balladic way, but have touches of psychedelic pop, with echoing backing vocals and a swelling melody.

Other songs have a softer, less grounded sound, like the airy pop of "Chartiers" and the oddball sound of "The Boo Hoo Boy," which has a dash of psychedelic folk flair. "The Late Great Cassopeia" is perhaps the highlight, perfectly balancing the bright quickness of Essex Green's pop with a driving guitar rhythm.

"Long Goodbye" isn't really a continuation of "Everything is Green" -- it's basically a different album that has a few musical flourishes in common. And this album harkens back to their earlier country-flavored work in Sixth Great Lake and Guppyboy, but it doesn't really fit them in this guise.

The main flaw is that the alt-country sound is mixed in with psychedelic flourishes -- something that might work for some bands, but it sounds awkward and contrived here. It also lacks the sunniness and prettiness, in favor of a grittier, more stripped-down sound. In other words, no discernable Vox organ or fuzz guitar.

Musically, it's actually pretty good -- the guitar riffs are fairly solid, occasionally a bit monotonous but overall quite solid. The occasional flicks of chimes add a more ethereal touch to it, as do the soft flute melodies.
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