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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Looking For Landmarks CD Cover
Image © Sarathan Publishing 2001  

(13 October 2002) Two Loons for Tea is Jonathan Kochmer (composition and guitar) and Sarah Scott (lyrics and vocals). Looking For Landmarks is the group's second album, a follow-up to their self-titled debut. In addition to the songwriter, Eric Rosse (Tory Amos, Kristy Thirsk), Matt Chamberlain and Mell Dettmer are credited with production. Rosse also provides a variety of other inputs to the album--see the band's website for further details on his contribution and those of the bevy of other artists involved in the recording.

Looking For Landmarks (Sarathan (USA) 71, 2002) is comprised of eleven average-length alternative but edgy rock-style tracks sung by Sarah Scott. Perfectly named for the rocking bluesy style, "Blue Suit" opens the album and introduces the listener to Sarah Scott's whispy lead vocal. It is clear from this opening track that the arrangements have been as well thought out as they are well played. The title track is a good bit slower with blues tones drawing on the melancholy in the verses but sonically awakening in the chorus. An album standout is the latin-styled and lushly arranged "Dying For Love" with layer upon layer of Sarah's lovely vocals.

Two Loons for Tea are not shy with their instrumental arrangements and guitar effects perfectly compliment vocal layers in "Blood For Sugar," a whispy ballad come gentle rocker. In sharp contrast is "Sad Diamonds," a bluesy ballad performed essentially just by the duo with Sarah's vocals accompanied by Jonathan's acoustic guitar with the small exception of Sanjay's small electric guitar part. A thicker arrangement builds with strings, additional percussion and vocal layering in the powerful tune "She's Not Worth The Worry."

And the depth of the arrangements continues to build in the raunchy "Shape Of Strange," with rich bass, various guitar effect and funky brass sounds adding texture underneath Sarah's reaching vocals. Another album standout is "Green Limousine" whose tempo changes coupled with lush and widely accessible rock arrangements pay tribute to the individual performers and production team.

In contrast, the bluesy "Emily" is almost starkly arranged with the exception of lovely vocal harmonies and the tune is left to showcase Sarah Scott's evocative work. "The Prisoner" rebuilds the depth of the album's arrangements yet continues to provide opportunities for Sarah to show her vocal prowess in this lightly rocking ballad with a great orchestral conclusion. The album concludes with the lush arrangements of "This Mortal Rodeo," where the everso powerful bass and further instruments underscore the melody without destroying Sarah's vocal line. A hidden (unnamed) bonus track at the twelfth position begins at 0:33. An instrumental with thick bass, light spacey electronic instrumentation and layers of vocalise, it runs for just under six minutes.

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.comhere. Two Loons For Tea Looking For Landmarks is worth a trans-Atlantic journey and is a must listen!

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