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Self Help Serenade [Import]

Marjorie FairAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)


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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2005 $9.49  
Audio CD, Import, 2004 $17.29  
Audio CD, Import, 2005 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 2, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B000A5E6PA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,219,313 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(22)
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serenade us July 19, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If Mercury Rev had a more intimate sound, and had a more melodious lead singer, they might sound something like Marjorie Fair. And this is only their debut. One can only imagine how beautiful their music will be in ten years' time.

The Los Angeles quartet creates a dazzling first impression in "Self Help Serenade," a polished indie pop album that combines slow, eerie melodies with panoramic sound. Like a strange dream full of stars and rainy spring forests, this album sticks to your mind even when you wake up... I mean, when it's over. Why did this languish in limbo for three years?

Faint sound effects and a guitar melody kick off "Don't Believe," a dreamy pop song that starts the album off on a dark note. "Don't believe a word they say/they're only there to take you away... don't believe a word they say/they're only trying to scare you away..." Evan Slamka sings in the opener, sounding like a cynical, sad young boy.

Things don't get much more cheerful as the album goes on, using the same kind of epic pop sound that Mercury Rev and the Doves made famous. But in addition to that, Marjorie Fair dips into catchier art-pop, murky ballads, and acoustic laments that are colored by ghostly keyboard.

The songwriting is even more tragic, with Slamka singing, "They found her in a plastic veil/with blood stained boots and glass in her hair." But it ends on a startlingly mellow note, with Slamka resigning himself to his girlfriend leaving. He sounds peaceful as he sings, "My sun is setting over her magic/equal parts caring and tragic/I'll be burning for awhile..."

Marjorie Fair is not just a talented bands.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serenade us May 15, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If Mercury Rev had a more intimate sound, and had a more melodious lead singer, they might sound something like Marjorie Fair. And this is only their debut. One can only imagine how beautiful their music will be in ten years' time.

The Los Angeles quartet creates a dazzling first impression in "Self Help Serenade," a polished indie pop album that combines slow, eerie melodies with panoramic sound. Like a strange dream full of stars and rainy spring forests, this album sticks to your mind even when you wake up... I mean, when it's over. Why did this languish in limbo for three years?

Faint sound effects and a guitar melody kick off "Don't Believe," a dreamy pop song that starts the album off on a dark note. "Don't believe a word they say/they're only there to take you away... don't believe a word they say/they're only trying to scare you away..." Evan Slamka sings in the opener, sounding like a cynical, sad young boy.

Things don't get much more cheerful as the album goes on, using the same kind of epic pop sound that Mercury Rev and the Doves made famous. But in addition to that, Marjorie Fair dips into catchier art-pop, murky ballads, and acoustic laments that are colored by ghostly keyboard.

The songwriting is even more tragic, with Slamka singing, "They found her in a plastic veil/with blood stained boots and glass in her hair." But it ends on a startlingly mellow note, with Slamka resigning himself to his girlfriend leaving. He sounds peaceful as he sings, "My sun is setting over her magic/equal parts caring and tragic/I'll be burning for awhile..."

Marjorie Fair is not just a talented bands.
Read more ›
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Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly an inspired album July 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This album sort of grew on me as I listened to it in my car. The strongest songs in my opinion are "Stare," "Waves," and "Empty Room," but the other songs are pretty good too. Clearly the lyrics are very introspective, and are socially relevant without being obnoxiously preachy. There's a sort of sadness and ennui that comes through most of the songs lyrically, but also an element of upbeat and sunny disposition where the musical influences of the Beatles and the Beach Boys poke through the music. This combination of happiness and sadness in the same song, at the same time, is pretty unique, and is certainly a credit to the lead singer/songwriter, Evan Slamka.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Serenade October 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD
If Mercury Rev had a more intimate sound, and had a more melodious lead singer, they might sound something like Marjorie Fair. And this is only their debut. One can only imagine how beautiful their music will be in ten years' time.

The Los Angeles quartet creates a dazzling first impression in "Self Help Serenade," a polished indie pop album that combines slow, eerie melodies with panoramic sound. Like a strange dream full of stars and rainy spring forests, this album sticks to your mind even when you wake up... I mean, when it's over. Why did this languish in limbo for three years?

Faint sound effects and a guitar melody kick off "Don't Believe," a dreamy pop song that starts the album off on a dark note. "Don't believe a word they say/they're only there to take you away... don't believe a word they say/they're only trying to scare you away..." Evan Slamka sings in the opener, sounding like a cynical, sad young boy.

Things don't get much more cheerful as the album goes on, using the same kind of epic pop sound that Mercury Rev and the Doves made famous. But in addition to that, Marjorie Fair dips into catchier art-pop, murky ballads, and acoustic laments that are colored by ghostly keyboard.

The songwriting is even more tragic, with Slamka singing, "They found her in a plastic veil/with blood stained boots and glass in her hair." But it ends on a startlingly mellow note, with Slamka resigning himself to his girlfriend leaving. He sounds peaceful as he sings, "My sun is setting over her magic/equal parts caring and tragic/I'll be burning for awhile..."

Marjorie Fair is not just a talented bands.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The results of sober observation
I love this sad, sad album. Heartrending melodies. Excellent songwriting. Solid music and musicianship. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Phillip Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one of the most underrated and underappreciated bands of...
I cannot recommend this CD more highly. Outstanding songwriting, inspired performances, catchy hooks, moody atmospherics, outstanding harmony -- it is all there. Read more
Published 16 months ago by bleedingdrum
5.0 out of 5 stars Words Cannot Truly Describe What I Think of This Album
I am in love with every second of every track on Self Help Serenade. From the gorgeous distorted guitars to the eerily way I can relate to the lyrics, this is the finest album I... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Raygolfs
5.0 out of 5 stars My Best of 2009
Easily my favorite of the 500 plus albums I collected over the year. Original, thoughtful, powerful, heartfelt, well recorded. Read more
Published on February 24, 2010 by J. R. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Album of 2005
There have been very few albums in the past five years that have captivated me from beginning to end, that move from one highlight to another, that don't lose steam two-thirds of... Read more
Published on January 15, 2008 by Gary Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars Self Help Serenade is beautiful and soothing
I had never heard this band before I bought the cd. I have loved it though. The music and lyrics mesh perfectly together to produce very deep and soulful tracks. Read more
Published on July 2, 2007 by M. Mckean
3.0 out of 5 stars Personally, I was disappointed
I really like the song "Empty Room", so I bought the CD. There were only about two more tracks on the disc that I like.
Published on January 3, 2007 by Jonathan K. Perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, moody, and surreal
I just saw these guys open for Porcupine Tree and they were outstanding. Very original sound and song construction. Hope to hear more from them in the future.
Published on October 22, 2005 by Soundman
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ASTOUNDING EPIC POP ALBUM, SONICS LIKE YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE....
As GREAT as this album is, a marvel in songwriting and production, guaranteed, this sucker's going to flop...that could be the reason for it's 3-year delay... Read more
Published on September 12, 2005 by Larry Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars ITALIAN
I thought the music was new and different which I felt was a refreshing change to the same old music being promoted today. Read more
Published on August 20, 2005 by Ralph De Lisa
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