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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
9


on November 8, 2012
Breathe Owl Breathe is a beautiful group and Magic Central is a thoroughly moving album--the sonic and lyric landscapes they create are at once intimate yet universal, expansive yet subdued, and simple yet intricate. Magic Central is a must listen from a great band. And on top of all that, the actual vinyl material has the most beautiful marbled pink texture. I highly recommend the vinyl album and this band.
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on December 6, 2013
Great music. I think I prefer Ghost Glacier, but this is a good album as well. If you like bluegrass, folk, indie type music you'll like Breathe Owl Breathe.
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on October 6, 2012
it was great. it still is great. i suppose that it will always be great. how often do you get pink vinyl?

also the music is pretty great too I guess.
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on December 2, 2010
I heard one of their songs on youtube after a friend recommended it and I'm hooked! I can't get it out of my head... I hope these guys come through colorado.
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on December 6, 2010
I wanted to like this disc, but there wasn't much here I could get excited about. Parts of it were just too self-conconciously cute for my liking. After seeing a positive review for this on NPR I expected more. It's a fine effort, but just not that memorable.
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on December 15, 2010
Breathe Owl Breathe is a little indie-folk band based out of Michigan that makes intimate and charming folk songs that can be described as "all-ages" folk, acceptable for listening to in the car by oneself or at home with the entire family. This is because Breathe Owl Breathe excels at crafting tracks that any child can follow, while also adding musical and lyrical elements that resonate on a deeper level with adults.

"Dragon", for example, starts with lead vocalist Micah Middaugh's monotone description of a dragon and princess that are pen pals and the actions taken by others once the truth comes out. To a child, this song is about the aforementioned dragon duo, and the inevitable siege by the townsfolk that ensues. Vocalist and cellist Andrea Moreno-Beals, however, cuts to the heart of the deeper issue with her tender tone. "How do you stop loving someone?", she asks, and while children can just enjoy the story, adults are left to ponder the thematic questions it poses.

This interplay of ideas and vocal melodies is strong throughout the entire album, with pleasant songs sometimes bearing stark truths. On the sweet, sad smile of "House of Gold", Middaugh sings, "We will romanticize what we want out of life/You and I will someday die". Lyrically the song is a sobering dose of truth about the American Dream, and the greater human condition has been exposed along the way. Instead of burying the song in such heavy themes, however, the song saunters by on a breezy melody. Acting as a sweetener to such a bitter epiphany, Middaugh calls for the song's mood to rise up, with "oh-oh-oh" stuttering and an absolutely disarming "oh yes, there are handclaps" line announcing the immediate percussive arrival of that infectious human percussion. Just because we know the truth isn't as sunny as we would like, just because most of our dreams will remain as such, doesn't mean we should dwell on it. It's good enough to know and enjoy the simple good things in life, and few things are quite as good as handclaps and a melody.

This is Breathe Owl Breathe at their best, deftly weaving the natural and vivid imagery of their storytelling into the themes of life, death, love, and all the other in-betweens we ruminate on daily. These themes are generally lurking beneath the surface, ready to be embraced or ignored as the listener prefers at any given time. With the hushed refrain of "Swimming", the evocatively atmospheric "Icy Cave Dancers", and the bouncy "Parrots in the Tropical Trees", Breathe Owl Breathe stays firmly within the oeuvre of past work without coming off as boxed in by genre or -style.

This is a band that wears capes during their live shows, that has had children of their fans sit in a semi-circle in front of them throughout the performance, that makes music that anyone can enjoy. It is a very rare thing for an artist to reach brilliance across all ages and maturity without feeling constrained, but Breathe Owl Breathe does. Bill Watterson made a comic strip that lit the fire of childhood imagination while leaving adults immediately nostalgic. Pixar makes movies that parents would drag their kids to if they weren't already on board. And Breathe Owl Breathe makes music that can make everyone smile, each for their own reason, all tied together by the well-written songs themselves.

When listening to "Magic Central", the christened name of the location the band recorded the album at, the listener is brought along to Michigan and the upper midwest at large, a land of sidehill gougers, freshwater lakes and rivers, and four true seasons. This is a truly special album by artists that have maintained a level of creativity and quality that few ever reach, let alone keep. Give it a listen, and let your children cherish it, too. Let Breathe Owl Breathe take you to Magic Central.
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on June 10, 2011
They are some of the absolutely finest people you could know. They are just regular folks who happen to know how to make very interesting and beautiful music together. The lyrics speak so much of northern Michigan experiences and real life emotion. No doubt, by reading some of the less positive reviews here, they are not going to appeal to everyone. But that doesn't matter. They are doing what they love and if people happen to appreciate it, they are very grateful. They just finished touring with Yann Tiersen and for the concert goers who had never heard of Breathe Owl Breathe, they encountered a tremendous treat. I wish you could see them live. They bring their true selves to everything they do and it is beautiful to watch. There is no hype.
Keep your eyes open. They are rambling around the country!
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on November 2, 2010
I couldn't believe that no one reviewed this album! I am seriously addicted to this album. It is so great to come home from work and wind down with this record. It is highly recommended. Listen to their Daytrotter session, too.
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on December 3, 2010
Some interesting stuff but nothing to write home about.
The vocals are really humdrum.
I imagine they'd be fun to see live and kudos for creativity but seem destined to remain very indie (not necessarily a bad thing, but limited appeal).
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