I was getting ready to play the new Colleen album for my friend and blathering on about how delicate and breathtaking her first album, Everyone Alive Wants Answers, was. Then I put on The Golden Morning Breaks and he said, "It's nice. It's like indie New Age music." And goddamn it! It totally is, and I can't hear it now without thinking of poor Colleen on tour with freaking Enya! But wait -- maybe this could work. Bear with me here...Let's imagine a world where Enya isn't the root of all evil. Breaks is ambient and wistful, yes, and full of tinkling crystals. But the swooping, subtle loops of sounds Colleen spins with samples and acoustic instruments (including a glass harmonicon, one of the weirdest and coolest instruments ever) tiptoe up your spine, leaving a shivery residue in their wake. In Colleen's hands, the stuff of cliché (contemplative music boxes, otherworldly wind chimes) becomes these perfectly crafted, incandescent little lullabies that do kind of make you want to do some soul-searching. And maybe that isn't such a bad thing.
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