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taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of local & state music CDs

timbre Little Flowers

With a name like Timbre Cierpke, the stunning harpist and mewithoutYou collaborator had little choice but to throw herself into the depths of musical exploration. On her second full-length Little Flowers, the chants of the stage-setting “Prelude” hint at this being an album that can’t easily be broken down to single tracks, as the soothing melody spills over into “The Wind May Be Beautiful.” The beauty of the album is truly in its subtleties, from the breezy and melancholic accordion on “Silver Shoots and Tender Leaves” to the total reversal of feeling in the forlorn “Hope is a Blindfold, Hope is a Solace” to the gently optimistic “I Will Go Plant Little Flowers,” complete with glissando-ing strings reminiscent of Sigur Ros’ ‘g’tis byrjun. There’s a sneaky little cover in Radiohead’s “Like Spinning Plates” as well, which she gives a delicate gypsy-jazz treatment while retaining the song’s brooding, penetrating allure.

77/100 Timbre will perform with Songs of Water and The Soil & The Sun this Thursday at The Green Bean.

Ignite and imagery Gimmick Free

Remember the day when the hallmark of a good hip-hop album went beyond merely being able to write and spit expressive rhymes? Winston- Salem duo Ignite and Imagery do, which is why their album Gimmick Free is built on both solid wordsmithery and an arsenal of tasteful, unobtrusive samples that recall the Golden Age of hip-hop hooks. Far more soulful than booty-bumping, the duo make their influences evident from the outset by dropping modified Jay-Z and Biggie references within the first three tracks (“shooting at you actors like paparazzi” and “remember Super Nintendo Sega Genesis”), lending insight into their entire creative esthetic. Though Gimmick Free doesn’t come close to being the groundbreaking release of either, it is an album that demands a close listen for what it does well: being an accessible and sophisticated work, incited by a blue-collar milieu and immersed in the rocking ambitions of the classic rock hooks found all over it. They don’t stop at Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley however, both are honest musicians whose homemade breaks lend needed diversity throughout.

71/100

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