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The Sadies
FAVOURITE COLOURS
(Yep Roc)

Imagine if the Grateful Dead hadnít drifted off into their long, strange trip but instead had kept mining the lysergic country-rock vein of American Beauty. They mightíve wound up sounding like the Sadies. For their fifth album, this Toronto quartet continue to mix elements of bluegrass with gorgeous, harmony-drenched Americana and blissed-out psychedelia. But despite its varied stylistic turns, Favourite Colours is no pastiche; the emphasis is always on the songs. And a memorable lot they are: opener "Northumberland Express" is finger-pickiní good; "Translucent Sparrow" sports creamy harmonies from brothers Travis and Dallas Good (along with ultra-cool fuzzy guitars and bleating trumpets); and in the chiming ballad "Why Be So Curious?", the fundamental question does not end up on its fundament. And whereas most bands toss in instrumentals to fill space, the Sadies use them to intensify the mood, as on the twangy "A Good Flying Day" and the chilling "The Iceberg," which glides slowly along just like, well, you get it. The closing "Why Would Anybody Live Here?" features a vocal by Robyn Hitchcock, a cameo that belies the Sadiesí real "roots."

BY ELIOT WILDER


Issue Date: September 24 - 30, 2004
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