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Violence In the Snowy Fields

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Album Review

In late 2003, Al James and Dolorean made some gentle waves with the Yep Roc-issued Not Exotic. The album had an endearingly offhanded quality about it, as if the songs were sung straight from James' tattered lyric book. But there was also a palpable gravity in its mixture of indie folk and quietly surging, nearly slowcore arrangements. For 2004's Violence in the Snowy Fields, James has lost none of his flair for lucid storytelling. But his songs are more expansive and dynamic, and supported by a wider range of instrumentation. Drummer Ben Nugent puts a country tavern two-step into opener "The Search," and the title track is an homage to the Band with its crackling electric guitar, layered harmonies, and easygoing sway. And "Dying in Time" is a gorgeous orchestral pop thrill, complete with a string quartet, vibes, and dramatic lyrics that wax smoothly about love and death. Though Dolorean makes these stylistic leaps with confidence and grace, fans of the first album's sparer moments won't be disappointed with Violence in the Snowy Fields, from the atmospheric pedal steel and nightmare meditations of "Put You to Sleep" to the skeletal acoustic picking and fragile delivery of "In the Fall." "You should let me know/If you think of me at all," James sings in a wavering high register, and his loneliness feels heavier than a stone. Other highlights of the album's softer side include "My Grey," a Clem Snide-ish number with brushed strings, told with James' trademark first-person honesty. Offering both fragile guitar ballads and full-band backbone, Violence in the Snowy Fields is an engaging, quietly rewarding listen.

Customer Reviews

Never heard of it!! Dolorean???????

what up folks!! Greetings from Ca USA!! Just lastnight...I was at a computer store...and i heard this song on one of the store's nano's displayed!!!! the song is called The Search by Dolorean.. I must have spent a good hour screaching the name of this song!! I went to the I tunes and I have found it!! I love this song!! This song reminds me of the days with my father on the road going to far parts of mexico... this is one of those song's you want to hear when on the road!! Have a great day everyone!! Saul

target...thank you!!

like everyone here i found the search at the BOSE audio headphone thingy in song is amazing!!! every time i went to target i would try to remember the lyrics (i always forgot to bring a paper and pen) and as soon as i got home i'd forget them....but finally!!! yes!!!!! i love this song!!

Who knew?

I can't believe I have never heard of these guys! I heard a sample of 'The Search' at the Bose display at Target. I listened to it over and over to memorize the lyrics so I could look it up at home. Kind of ironic that the song is called 'The Search'. Finally found it. Downloaded it immediately of course. I've only heard excerpts from the rest of the album, but I like what I hear and will download the rest of the songs too. Great find! Thank you Bose!


Formed: 1999 in Portland, OR

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Dolorean emerged from sleepy Silverton, OR, in 1999, after guitarist/vocalist Al James invited Standard keyboard enthusiast Jay Clarke to play on a slew of his quiet, avant folk home recordings. Sudden Oak, the duo's debut EP, appeared that same year, and Dolorean began playing out. By 2001, they had resettled in Portland and were a fixture on the local literati scene, accompanying poetry readings and the like with their understated sound. By this point, drummer Ben Nugent had also joined the fold....
Full Bio
Violence In the Snowy Fields, Dolorean
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