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January 23, 2006 7:41 am
Top Of The Pile: Lilys
We intended to proffer a proper Junkmedia review of the forthcoming Lilys record, but behind the scenes here at Junkmedia there is a lot of work going on as little gremlins work to tack, glue and rivet the site into an exciting new configuration. So we're graduating Everything Wrong Is Imaginary straight to the Top Of The Pile. According to the presser that accompanied the record, there is an intense back-story of mental illness and familial strife underlying the period of time chief Lily Kurt Heasley spent writing and recording the album. As unpleasantly fascinating and tragic as the circumstances sound, we think they have colored our ability to digest the altogether delicious Everything Wrong Is Imaginary, which streets Feb. 21 on Manifesto. So we're going to ignore the context surrounding Everything's Wrong for now and let you know the most important thing about the record, which is this: at about 2:45 into album opener "Black Carpet Magic" the song hits a crescendo driven by a wavering, face-melting guitar lick. And from there, the typically curious record is ON.

Everything Wrong marks a return to the guitar-driven peaks of the act's magical first half-dozen years. The surprise is that with each song the album contorts, touching on not just one but several of the prior styles embraced by Lilys. We had heard from a consort of current Lilys producer Mike Musmanno (who also worked on 2003's somewhat blurry Precollections) that the record was heavily hip-hop influenced. That doesn't seem to be the case, although there is a surprising hand-clappin' R&B slide to "A Diana's Diana." But by definition of its shape-shifting nature, a game of pick-the-influence is hard to avoid when listening to the Lilys, but usually you only play it once or twice a record. On Everything Wrong it can be a track by track exercise. For a taste of the record, hit the Lilys MySpace domicile which has streams of two album tracks, "With Candy" and "Knocked On The Forture Teller's Door." The former is an appealing slab of guitar rock accented by oddly symbiotic roller-rink synth, and the latter is a dense, swirling trip with a pounding, space-truckin' bridge. -- Jay Breitling

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