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Sleeping on Roads

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Album Review

In which Neil Halstead is finally able to show everyone that he is the real talent of Mojave 3! Hurrah! OK, maybe not: Anyone who has looked at songwriting credits on a Mojave 3 record will tell you that the idea of a Halstead solo record sounds completely pointless. Even a casual fan is led to believe that Halstead's band is his band — meaning he writes the songs and calls the shots. With a Halstead solo record a reality, you have to fight the urge to throw your arms up in puzzlement because the wrong member of Mojave 3 has made a solo record. History says that the second fiddle goes off to release a work of his own; the one who writes most of the material — or, in this case, almost everything — doesn't need another outlet. But apparently listeners have been duped and Mojave 3 is more of a democracy than had been imagined. More importantly, Halstead is too prolific and restless to leave these previously orphaned songs unrecorded. So, after a relationship bust-up that left him homeless, he set up shop in a hospitable studio and made a record with some friends pitching in. One of those friends was Mojave 3 drummer Ian McCutcheon, so it could be said that this record is a la-la-la and a few basslines away from a Mojave 3 record. It certainly doesn't sound that much different from a Mojave 3 record, if not quite as excellent due to the less than prime quality of some of the songs. Aside from a prominent synth shading here, an uncharacteristically loud burst of guitar there, and Halstead's preference to pick instead of strum, this is a logical, if rather slight, progression from the third Mojave 3 record. And that's just fine, actually.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful.

I've listened to at least a couple tracks from this album ea. month for 10 years and the ears / head / heart can still come back for more. "Hi-Lo and in Between" is amazing, some of the most sadly-beautiful and thoughtful writing I've heard in years. I keep expecting some big-screen flick to use it for the opening or closing credits. The entire album's wistful, gorgeous, and perfect. Thank you Neil!

Biography

Born: October 7, 1970 in England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Since releasing some of the finest shoegaze singles and albums of the early '90s with his band Slowdive, Neil Halstead has slowly become one of Britain's most respected songwriters. While Slowdive had more to do with sounds than songs, the transition that band made into Mojave 3 in the mid-'90s allowed Halstead to further emulate the largely late-'60s-based folk-rock songwriters with whom he had become enamored. Along the way, Halstead did something of a tightrope act by earning comparisons to those...
Full Bio