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Beulah
YOKO
(Velocette)
Stars graphics

Donít let the lush harmonies, the sweet melodies, and the ornate instrumentation fool you. The fourth full-length from one-time Elephant 6 protégés Beulah finds the sextet in just as dark a frame of mind as 2001ís outwardly sunny, inwardly gloomy The Coast Is Never Clear. Given that three band members got divorced this year, Yoko is an even more mordant affair. Singer-songwriter Miles Kurosky still layers his songs about bitter heartache and flagging romance with brass, pedal steel guitars, and energetic choruses ("Me and Jesus Donít Talk Anymore"); all the same, itís hard to hum merrily along to "Landslide" when youíre hearing, "I know you wonít try/Because youíre scared and youíre weak/And you donít give a fuck about me/And I do believe that you hate yourself." Kuroskyís fondness for Pavementís cracked elegance inspires the piano-laden "Hovering" and "Youíre Only King Once." There has lately been much speculation about a band break-up ó and the title of this album is likely to fan those flames (after all, whose name is more synonymous with a great band breaking up?). That would be a shame, because Beulah sound as good as they ever have on Yoko.

(Beulah headline downstairs at the Middle East this Saturday, October 18; call 617-864-EAST.)

BY JONATHAN PERRY


Issue Date: October 17 - 23, 2003
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