The Boston Phoenix
December 23 - 30, 1999

"Magic Box"

(Pop Narcotic, 1993)

A tragic and affecting hide-and-seek allegory for indie rock, with Mary Timony promising prized and magical secrets -- "some trees, a river, and an old man's head" -- that, it slowly becomes clear, she's either unable or unwilling to deliver. Each time her folksy reel comes crashing to tantalizing fruition, she mumbles a litany of excuses -- "On second thought, never mind, I'll have to show you some other time" -- that string us along for just another verse. And on and on until our interest wanes and with equal parts indignation and desperation she makes this final plea for one more chance, but we're already gone, and she lets out a sound, a cooing wisp of melody that floats and dips suddenly and then rises, and keeps rising.

-- Carly Carioli

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