Have you worn out your copy of The New Pornographers's Electric Version yet? That's fortunate, because I have also, but thankfully I have gotten my hands on Morning Spy's debut LP, and things have been dandy ever since. Morning Spy aptly delivered the goods with their self-titled EP in 2002, and this time, they raise the bar once again with Subsequent Light, which is the perfect title for this successive release. It should be noted that this album is not just "more of the same," which is the case with a myriad other bands that find their formula and never expand on it. Three of the songs from the previous record are found here ("Accidental Stars," "Please Stay Out Late," and "All Romance") as well as eight more succulent honey-laced tracks. The addition of a second guitarist, James Spandaro, has led to a richer, more textured sound as the band re-recorded those three aforementioned songs. The results are impacting, and this band has achieved the potential that it has strived for since their earlier days as dream-pop fledglings. While Morning Spy's co-founder/bassist Jon Rooney still assumes full song-writing responsibility, he shares the duty with guitarist/vocalist Allison Goffman for "Vista," a fractured song with only four verses that are repeated frequently. As Goffman whispers "Don't let my smile go to sleep, I'm standing here staring at my feet," she evokes memories of The Jesus and Mary Chain as well as My Bloody Valentine's less chaotic work. If a song with lyrics about staring at your feet are not shoegazer enough, "The Sweet Taste of Joy" could alleviate that problem, as the harmonizing between Goffman and Rooney make it illegal to listen to this song anywhere other than your bedroom with your blinds closed, shielding you from the puttering raindrops on your windowsill. From the spacey pop-rock of the album's opener, "I Am the Time" to the somber-sounding Velvet Underground-inspired closing track, "Cosmonauts," one really must consider the possibility that Lou Reed had four love-children with Francois Hardy.
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