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Dido
Edria Album: Edria: Regret
Released: 2004
Length: 47:58
Rating: 4stars
Reviewed by: John
Buy it: CD Baby

Track By Track:
1. Regret - A brilliant opening song, as "Regret" amps up, it pulls you into your own mind, a desert landscape swirling around you, searching for direction. Janina's vocals bring bearing, a distant voice reaching through the mental haze to entrance you and call you onto this musical journey. Guitar and bass keep the pace, the clicks of railroad ties passing beneath the train. In short, you are entering a dream world fueled and shaped by music. Let yourself be taken along for the ride.

2. Your Blue Room - The tick-tock of plucked strings gives way to a beautifully hypnotic strummed melody, pulling you further into the dream that is Regret. Cyrus' vocals perfectly match the rest of the song's instrumentation, and I'm very happy to see that the band uses all of its vocal assets to bring out the full potential of this song.

3. Last Breath - The song that hooked me, the melodies are absolutely mesmerizing. With three guitars and a bass to work with, Edria definitely has the musical deck stacked in their favor on this one. As with the previous two songs, "Last Breath" calls into that deepest part of your imagination and sparks all sorts of mental imagery. Of particular genius are the opening measures, which bring to mind the descending of spiraling stairs, only to then have the lyrics deliver the line "Walking through the unfamiliar, slowly I descend."

4. Crimson - Much of the song is instrumental, with Janina's vocals pushing through to the listener at key moments. Haunting with an undercurrent of foreshadowed sadness, "Crimson" is the musical equivalent of wiping sleep from your eyes and serves as a keystone of sorts for Regret. The dream is not over, but it is about to change.

5. Fallen (Intro) / 6. Fallen - A rude awakening from the previous soft fadeout, the introduction grabs your attention, then eases into a lulling musical static as you wait to hear what lies up ahead. "Fallen" itself swirls around like a starry galaxy, the brilliant lights passing by as you fall through the blackness. This is another song that works so well because of the band's deep guitar instrumentation, providing the listener with overlaying melodies that delight the ears.

7. Sundown - A soft landing from the previous track, "Sundown" once again showcases Cyrus' vocals, but this time brings them front and center to truly let his voice be the main force of much of the song. The instrumental bridge flows seamlessly between the vocal bookends, creating an interesting yet balanced and consistent piece of music.

8. Bottled Up (Intro) / 9. Bottled Up - With an introduction that is reminiscent of wind chimes blowing gently in the breeze, "Bottled Up" is the first track to really be a duet between Janina and Cyrus. Their voices leap frog and intertwine with each other throughout the song, finally twisting up together so as to merge and segue into the beautiful instrumental closing.

10. Venus Cafe (Intro) / 11. Venus Cafe - When the previous track abruptly ends, you find yourself disoriented for a few moments, a brilliant decision that sets up the introduction music to "Venus Cafe" as something to catch your attention in a moment of confusion. Like a mirage in the blurry, hot desert air, slowly a picture of music forms that finally takes solid form about a third of the way through the main song. At that point, Cyrus' vocals jump into play, interjecting between phrases of steady, quickly-plucked guitar riffs.

12. Jefferson Texas - The ten-minute instrumental conclusion of this musical journey, "Jefferson Texas" is the waking from the dream, images still floating about your head. Like rain falling on the parched desert, this song is both soothing and slightly tumultuous, the resultant memory of all we've experienced. It's hope after despair, enlightenment after confusion. The perfect close to an incredible album, in which not a word need be spoken.

Overall:
Regret is the kind of album for which I have been searching for some time. It is solidly composed and constructed, each song able to stand on its own, but all of the individual components are linked and stitched together in such a way as to present the entire album as its own complete work. Its use of both female and male vocals is another strength it possesses, allowing the music to go wherever it desires, never limited by vocal instrumentation. Dream-like and beautiful, this album is a must-own for anyone who enjoys the shoegaze genre, and a must-listen for all of you out there waiting to encounter a wall of sound. If you have no idea what I just said, pick up this album. Let Edria be the door through which you enter a whole new world of music.

Band's Website: http://www.edria.net/
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