Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions: Through the Devil Softly

RIYL: Galaxy 500, The Innocence Mission, The Sundays

Call it music for insomniacs. Or anyone else that needs to catch up on their sleep. The second solo album by Hope Sandoval, late of ethereal ingénues Mazzy Star, not only maintains the same hazy drift and downcast drone of her former colleagues, but actually manages to take whatever minimal energy they mustered down another notch. Hushed and lethargic, Sandoval conveys a haunting, unhurried sound that’s immersed in spectral surroundings, contemplative musings and the occasional ominous overtones. Given their narcotic and nocturnal sensibilities, Sandoval and company seem hard-pressed to make a more emphatic impression, and even those songs that pass for sensual dreamscapes barely register beyond any cerebral set-ups.

Hope Sandoval Devil

Consequently, willowy offerings like “Blanchard,” “For the Rest of Your Life” and “Sets the Blaze” are more celestial than sublime, not exactly the type of thing that makes a lingering impression once the haze is lifted. So forget any notion of a sing-along. There’s not much of the Devil in these details. (Nettwerk 2009)

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