Damon & Naomi

Album Title: The Earth is Blue
Release Date: February 14, 2005
Genre: Indie Rock
In the early 1990's, amid the wreckage of the former Galaxie 500, Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski emerged, facilities in tact and determined to pipe down several dBs from the dreamy drones of their ex-band. She of the oversized hoop earrings and he of the skins, the pair christened themselves Damon & Naomi (oddly) and set about to re-write the book on soft spoken indie rock one whisper at a time. It's hard to imagine that 2005's "The Earth Is Blue" marks the duo's 13-year anniversary (Galaxie 500 were only together for less than five) yet it does so in their trademark understated pageantry. Yang's voice has aged unlike a fine whine and while she may never reach the miasmic heights of her Ono slamdunk "Listen, The Snow is Falling", "The Earth Is Blue" features more than enough aural highlights to earn its keep. From the opening strands of "Beautiful Close Double", the music ebbs and flows like a tributary to the soul. As mentioned, Yang's voice is the torch bearer but Krukowski proves his meddle (or lack thereof) by purring away alongside on tracks like "Malibran" and assuming lead duties on "Ueno Station". To the uninitiated, this album might be mistaken for Yanni-esque new age drivel, but knowing the history gives perspective, and in any case, these songs are just too polished and too gorgeous to be mistaken for anything but ecstatic. The only misstep is a somewhat ill-timed cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeping". Great song, but without a guitar actually weeping, it's rendered somewhat null. No matter because the other nine tracks more than make up for it.

Writer: Cameron Gordon

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