Dusty Trails - Self-Titled
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Dusty Trails
Self-Titled

I actually had no idea that this release was even out until I saw the disc in stores one day. As a group, Dusty Trails is made up of Vivian Trimble and Josephine Wiggs (as well as various players from Luscious Jackson and some other interesting guest stars). On the back, the exact statement mentioned about the music is that it's "mellow sounds and minor chords, a synthesis of elegance and groove." Instead of heeding my initial thoughts and not listening to obvious marketing copy, I instead picked up the disc hoping that it would indeed hold true to those words.

Really, the album does live up to those words, but it's in a different way than I was expecting. Minus a couple tracks on the release (including the very Luscious Jackson-esque "Roll The Dice"), this release is more like the female version of Air or Stereolab-lite. They've even got the French thing going on with one track ("Est-Ce Que Tu") and several instrumental neo-lounge tracks that sound like they could have come off the soundtrack of the Love Boat ("Pearls On A String," "St-Tropez"). I'm still not quite sure how the word 'groove' fits into the whole scheme of things, unless they're talking a very subtle form of it.

That said, there are some really nice things about the disc overall. Not only does it have a super laid-back feel, but Trimble's vocals sound like she was absolutely made for this kind of a release. With the light backing to most of the songs, her airy vocals fit alongside nearly perfectly. Some of the better tracks on the disc are when the duo takes on a sort of lounge/country feel (perhaps the derivation of their name in the first place) like "Fool For A Country Tune" and "Order Coffee" (with vocals by the amazing Emmylou Harris).

Whether or not you like the album will mainly lay in your tolerance of the light sounds of the disc. It only runs about 45 minutes long, but the 14 tracks full of congas and whispy vocals (without any tracks that are as innovative as a Stereolab or Air), it might get to be a bit much still for most listeners. On a hot day, when nothing more is needed than music to drift by as you're sipping lemonade, it might make a nice accompaniment, just don't take it seriously.

rating: 5.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00