The other morning on my way to work the sun was rising and, protecting me from the hustle and bustle of commuting life were Mojave 3. Their latest album, Spoon and Rafter is a beautiful, dreamlike piece of music, full of swirling guitars, synthesisers and rippling piano.
It carries on the theme of beautiful, inoffensive sound-scapes where Mojave 3 left off, with Excuses for Travellers and the lovely Ask Me Tomorrow. The opener, Bluebird for happiness is an epic nine-minute meandering song from someone who has had too much of the road and needs to “find a way back home”. Reoccurring themes drift in and out of the mix as gentle piano and acoustic guitar accompany Neil Halstead’s whispered mumbling, akin to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It sets the bar high for the rest of the album, and unfortunately it’s a bit too high. While the other songs are good, they just pass by. But I think that’s the idea, dreamlike songs that wash over you without even noticing, and at this they excel.
The album has other highlights, like Hard to miss you and She’s all up above with more fragile vocals and sparse accompaniment. If you take the album for what it is, beautiful music, you can miss possible flaws like the lack of inventiveness or hooks and enjoy it. But nobody slammed Pink Moon cause it didn’t have a rocker, and Nick Drake fans will love this.