Listen to Espers on Rhapsody!

By Chris Pacifico

While they may hail from Philadelphia, members of the psych/folk sextet Espers look like they live on a commune and as if they had just finished recording their fabulous sophomore effort II while amidst the throes of an opium den circa 1200 AD. The album is a tasty mélange of stringy tunes with a liquid flow, dulcet harmonies with an old timey baroque cherry on top.

From the eight-minute opener "Dead Queen," one will easily conclude that II is a great album for those who fancy getting high before chowing down on the munchies at Medieval Times or swilling ale at the nearest renaissance fair. If Syd Barrett were a singing court jester in the Middle Ages, chances are he would come off sounding a lot like Espers. The dual vocals of Meg Baird and Brooke Sietinsons just ooze so gently on the slithering aura of "Widow's Weed," and while II is at times opulent enough to be nominated for a Tony Award, at other times it produces a seductive chill. The album's most glimmering of gems is most assuredly the repining organ-infused "Mansfield and Cyclops."

Today a lot of artists who make music cut from the folk cloth aim to be as exquisite as they can, but in the end they are merely over-indulgent, if not self-indulgent. Espers, on the other hand, has an aesthetic that holds true to the roots of the early British folkie pioneers such as Fairport Convention, Incredible String Band, and Bert Jansch, yet they aren't stuck in a time warp as much as they are ahead of their days.

JamBase | Philadelphia
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[Published on: 8/25/06]

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shainhouse starstarstarstar Wed 8/30/2006 11:15AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I really like this album, and I think the review hit it right on the nose, albiet quickly. Espers is not for everyone, but fans of the trad style would love em, and this album builds on that.

Hojpoj starstarstar Thu 9/14/2006 12:31PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

the album oozes w/ talent and depth anyone should appreciate it especially if you want to just enjoy LISTENING to music for a change.