Moon Duo: Stars Are the Light (Sacred Bones) - Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, October 17th, 2019  

Moon Duo

Stars Are the Light

Sacred Bones

Oct 07, 2019 Issue #66 - My Favorite Album - Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney Bookmark and Share


If you were to judge the music on Moon Duo's seventh LP by its album cover, you would presume it to be hippy-dippy, trippy, space music. But you would only be partially correct. After actually listening to the music, it's evident the duo of Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada have taken their psych rock sound in a different direction that could be described as flower-power, disco-rave, dream-pop.

That's a lot to digest. But when the groovy, almost danceable bass lines, spiraling sound effects, and syrupy synths are mixed in the right proportion the results are dazzling. Opener "Flying" along with "Eternal Shore," "Eye 2 Eye," and the superb "Lost Heads" are awash in lush sonic textures and psychedelic grooves that make the perfect backdrop for Johnson's hypnotic guitar stylings. These tunes are playful and entertaining with a layered and attractive sound.

But it turns out that getting the recipe right is a delicate balance that doesn't quite carry through the entire collection of tracks. Some tunes tip the scales in the opposite direction and suffer from lumbering bass lines and tedious melodies that go nowhere. The vocals, shared by both Johnson and Yamada, are mostly nondescript and act like an artificial sweetener that doesn't quite satisfy the craving for something sweet.    

Stars Are the Light is a decent album that shows Moon Duo know how to put a new spin on an old formula. And while it may not make a big splash, the ripple effects can be pleasing. (www.moonduo.org)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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