Music Reviews

Why do modern psychedelic artists insist on either whispering or singing in their airiest, whiniest falsettos? From The Flaming Lips to Mercury Rev to Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous, the effect is deadly. Linkous’ fourth full-length—recorded at home with a variety of guests (the Lips’ Steven Drozd and Dave Fridmann, Danger Mouse, Tom Waits on piano from an It’s a Wonderful Life leftover)—is another paradoxically claustrophobic affair that shoots for the ethereal stars while hushing itself into the broom closet. The playful “Some Sweet Day” and charging “Ghost in the Sky” scream for a singer to take command. You’re left with ornate but unremarkable headphone listening.

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