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(Older reviews archived alphabetically by artist name.)

  Alone I Admire  
  Auburn Lull  
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A few years ago i downloaded some Auburn Lull songs. They were called Blur My Thoughts Again and Early Evening Reverie, both of which are on the album Alone I Admire. Both of these songs are brilliant tunes of light, washed out ambience. I have no idea where i got them from though....

Since then, i have been hoping against hope that i would be fortunate enough to find a copy of the apparently extremely limited Burnt Hair release of this album. In two years i haven't been able to track down a copy. Apparently, everyone who purchased this album kept it: it has never shown up in my used record searches. And no retailers in Atlanta (or e-tailers anywhere for that matter) seem to carry Burnt Hair releases. It was beginning to look as if i was destined to never hear the remainder of this album.

Fortunately for me and everyone else, Darla has just re-released Alone I Admire. It's available on their site, and all kinds of stores carry Darla releases, so it should be easy to track down a copy now.

Thank goodness. This is, quite simply, one of the greatest ambient ethereal albums i have ever heard. It is so amazing that i urge everyone who has even the slightest interest in this genre to attempt to go out and find a copy.

Auburn Lull are, apparently, a four piece band from Michigan. They have two guitarists, who play through tons of echo and chorus, making their guitars sound like shimmering waves. A drummer plays light accompaniment, and there are keys, voice, samples, and bass also floating in the general sea of sound.

It's stunning. I listen to this album and i just sit and let the sound wash over me. It's relaxing and tranquil, and yet there is a lot going on in each song. There are lots of little sounds and textures, so that listening with headphones is especially rewarding.

All 10 songs on this album are worthwhile, but there is a three song sweep in the middle of the disc that is particularly stunning. It starts with Blur My Thoughts Again, in which an unstoppable yet mellow beat echoes richly under a sea of chiming guitars and strange, subtle keyboard sounds. The sounds build and build, flowing into Early Evening Reverie, which has a different rhythm and feel, but in general carries on the same mood. For a while at least: Early Evening Reverie simply explodes in the middle, suddenly becoming a huge wall of guitar fuzz backed by insistent bass and drum. It's overpowering and beautiful at the same time. The sounds fades, only to slowly rebuild in The Last Beat, with stunning keyboard sweeps driving the music. Again, it's an overpowering upswell of music, yet rather than leaving me drained it leaves me aching for more.

And more. I keep coming back to this album, and each time i find it tremendously enjoyable. It is a deep album that rewards real listening. It is relaxing, yet draining.

This came out in 1999. Supposedly Auburn Lull are working on a follow-up to be released on Darla later this year. I cannot begin to imagine how they could ever outdo Alone I Admire. I hope they succeed though: that will really be something to hear!

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