Trembling Blue Stars

The Seven Autumn Flowers
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The Seven Autumn Flowers is number six from Trembling Blue Stars.
The Seven Autumn Flowers is number six from Trembling Blue Stars.
The cover of The Seven Autumn Flowers, the sixth album by London's Trembling Blue Stars, features a watercolor painting of a yellow flower falling into a landscape of muted blues and grays -- there's a lake, and some dead trees, and a fogged-in mountain range towering in the background. Trembling chief Bobby Wratten (best known for his tenure leading the Field Mice, the U2 of English twee-pop) couldn't have chosen a more appropriate visualization of his music if he'd tried: Autumn is full of drab, see-through budget-indie settings -- chintzy keyboards, anemic guitars, tempos that could stand a switch from green tea to black coffee -- into which Wratten (or, more frequently, his co-singer Beth Arzy) drops just enough light to keep you interested. In opener "Helen Reddy," it's a tasty blast of quickly strummed fuzz-guitar; in "Moonlight on Snow," it's Arzy's dream-machine backing vocals; in "All Eternal Things," it's a reverbed keyboard wash and Cure-lite guitar line that give Wratten's sensitive-guy despair the ring of significance.
 
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