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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crazy, lazy, trippy, unforgettable chill fest

Cranes - Wings of Joy
four of five stars

This 1991 major-label debut from the alternative band Cranes is truly something to behold. Unique and hypnotic, Wings of Joy is unlike anything else you have ever heard. Though barely a single lyric on the entire album is decipherable, the songs have such a dark, flowing, trance inducing, creepy calmness that the marble-mouthed delivery is not only forgivable, but valued as an integral piece of the album as a whole. It reminds me quite a bit of some of Angelo Badalamenti's work on the Twin Peaks soundtrack. Standouts are "Watersong," "Leaves of Summer" and "Sixth of May."

Cranes have undergone an interesting metamorphosis over the years since this disc's release, now leaning heavily toward an electronic based sound, yet over all that time and change they have maintained their one-of-a-kind "Crane-ness." Each album can stand on its own merits, but if you purchase only one, make it Wings of Joy - on vinyl if you can find it. This is one of those albums that really does have so much more character on vinyl.