Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Chemistry Set: The Chemistry Set

The Chemistry Set’s self-titled debut CD moves through space, the American heartland, and self-discovery in Stephen Duncan’s introspective journey. Beginning with the twinkling “Into the Light,” Duncan crafts childlike images of resurrection and lends charm to the entire album, even the angry “Lee Minor 7.” Unsubtly suggesting bombing Oklahoma, there’s no actual instigation of violence, rather it’s wishful thinking. With his naïve voice and the backing of Meredith Knoll’s xylophone and keys over jazzy percussion, he crafts the traveling miseries of “Gypsies and Vagabonds.” The Chemistry Set creates a world of overheard melodies and familiar words paired with unexpected contrasts. Pink Floyd-like passages and alt-country sounds work well together on this CD. Even homages to the Beatles and Bowie fit right in. This may not be the band’s “million dollar day,” but it’s money in the bank.

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