Buy album: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nature/id973325803
Band website: www.kranky.net/artists/valet.html
Honey Owens – vocals
Rafael Fauria – guitars
Mark Burden – drums/bass/keys
I don’t know if this is a comeback after a 7-year-hiatus or a reunion – apparently, not even front-woman Honey Owens herself was sure if she had broken up Valet for good – but one way or the other, here it is, Nature.
More than the album that comes after “Naked Acid”, “Nature” it’s the album that picks up where its predecessor left. They say they’ve changed their style, but honestly, I see it as pretty much the same, just one level up: less psychedelic variations, more solid patterns, same dreamlike, new-age vibe. Honey’s voice is somewhat more perceptible, but it still sounds like it’s coming from another realm. The rhythm is also more tangible and the texture of the guitar work thicker, but everything is combined in order to induce you into a zen-state.
“Transformation” is the most striking song, given its vibrancy. The title-track, “Lions” and “Clouds” follow suit, flowing with a little bit more of life. Which doesn’t exactly mean they’re totally upbeat. No, just slightly sharper, especially in comparison to “Sunday” and “Signs”, where the melodies are almost sad but still interesting. The same can’t be said of the remaining two, “Nowhere” and “Child”, which are dull enough. The first is an instrumental piece (unless you count Honey’s humming as singing) that repeats itself over and over throughout its four-minute length. Maybe it’s meant to be hypnotic and take you to some alternative reality, but personally, I find it plain boring. As for “Child”, it simply lacks… something. I didn’t pay attention to its lyrics, but if this is supposed to be a homage to Honey’s own child, I apologize for refer to it as shallow.
All in all, “Nature” is a reasonable, relaxing album. It doesn’t get much kudos for creativity, but it has its moments.