Mirah and Spectratone International: Share This Place: Stories and Observations (K Records)

CD Review

 
MIRAH AND SPECTRATONE INTERNATIONAL — SHARE THIS PLACE: STORIES AND OBSERVATIONS



Praises be: at long last an album all about insects. Curtis Mayfield's Superfly fooled me once, the "Jitterbug" twice, but Mirah and Spectratone International answered my prayers with "Gestation of the Sacred Beetle" and "Love Song of the Fly." As an avid entomologist, from my first magnifying glass and subsequent smoky anthill, I have waited and waited for music to match my love of all things exoskeletoned and pollen-loving: a soundtrack for gardening, if you will. Share this Place: Stories and Observations chronicles the trials and tribulations of an insect's life cycle, complete with stories of love, growing up and seduction. The latest from K Records' lovely crooner Mirah Yom Tov "Zygote" Zeitlyn pairs her with the percussion and accordion stylings of Black Cat Orchestra's Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson. The album peaks when subject matter and musicianship go hand in hand: a cello that sounds like buzzing, looping vocals reminiscent of a swarm of bees. Talk of pheromones and proboscises helps remind the listener that Mirah sings from the insect's point of view, which can be a bit lame in songs like "Community," where the artistic focus is teamwork. Yes, teamwork. The album finds its most touching moments when the line between human emotion and daily insect strife are blurred. The slow, stumbling vocals of "Emergency of the Primary Larva" can bring any listener back to the struggles of adolescence with lyrics reading, "I won't become the one intend/Until I can brave the dust below." Though the accordion brings a light, fun touch to accompany Mirah's breathy, sweet vocals, there isn't much more substance to the album unless the process of molting in "Ecdysis" tickles your fancy. (Justine Reisinger) Grade: B-

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