Review - The Herethereafter

Artist: Miranda Lee Richards

The solo debut of Brian Jonestown Massacre alumna Miranda Lee Richards is a romp through the strawberry fields of neo-psychedelia, only hinted at by bands like Mazzy Star and The Sundays. Equally influenced by '60s dream pop (she beautifully updates the Stones' "Dandelion") and French poetry (she sets one of Charles Baudelaire's poems to music), Richards displays a great ear for lush melodies and engaging beats to build her ethereal pop songs around. A host of side players drench her angelic, singsong voice in strings, piano, backward guitar sounds and even tablas. But despite all the melodic ornamentation, "Herethereafter" never sounds fussy or overworked.

In "The Beginner," the album's manifesto of sorts, Richards sings over a spacey slide guitar and shuffle beat, "They say I'm a pretender/ They say I'm a charlatan/ Well if you're never a beginner/how ya' ever gonna begin." Richards is certainly off to a good start.

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