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Brightblack Morning Light
Motion To Rejoin
Matador Records
September 23, 2008
Hologram Buffalo

Motion To Rejoin is the second full-length album from the duo of Nathan "Naybob" Shineywater and Rachael "Raybob" Hughes, collectively known as Brightblack Morning Light. If those nicknames give off a hippie, backwater vibe then it should come as no surprise that their sophomore effort was recorded in "earth-friendly fashion" entirely with solar power. And there is sort of an old school, backwater bayou, Mississippi mud vibe beneath some of the tracks on Motion To Rejoin, a slow rivulet of smooth-as-treacle heartfelt heartland amidst the d-out vocals and fuzzy, blurry electronic haze, a granola crunch covered in thick cream, tasty and heavy as lyrics drip into the bowl like dust in the wind.

There are nine tracks on Motion To Rejoin, but it's difficult to review them as individual songs, as the album is more of a single cohesive listening experience; try to remove a slice from the pie and you get that long, long thread of mozzarella that just won't break off, tying every piece back to the whole freak folk slo-mo explosion. "Hologram Buffalo" opens with a smooth, drifting melody, a back-and- forth slow dance accompanied by soulful vocals in no hurry to get anywhere before drifting off just in tie for "Gathered Years," a slow dirgey gospel, the sound of New Orleans the day after a hurricane, a sleepy church after mass has let out for the last time. To say "Oppressions Each" is more upbeat is like saying a turtle is faster than a snail; even this, one of the most uptempo songs on the album, is slow as a morphine drip, doo-woppy backing vocals like tears on dirty glass.

The rest of the album follows in like fashion, each song like different scenes viewed through the windows of a train steaming across middle America, the flat plains rolling past, each brief scene distinct, yet blurring into the whole as the angry thunderstorms brew on the horizon, and the bones of the dead rattle in their graves underneath. From the album's "Introduction" to the closing "When Beads Spell Power Leaf," it all adds up to a slow, soulful ride, not quite recollecting that old commercial with Iron Eyes Cody shedding a tear - Motion To Rejoin is more of a deep, soulful sigh.

Favorite Track: "Oppressions Each"

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Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse background includes journalism, radio copywriting, technical writing, game design and music reviewing. He is best known as the creator of the Internet cult sensation, Ninja Burger. He can be reached at or at his website,

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