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- Ruler of the Night by Magic Trick
8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 27 June 2012
Magic Trick is Tim Cohen’s (of Fresh And Onlys fame) little bit on the side. Something to amuse him in between touring and recording with his main squeeze. He’s obviously got a lot to give as the material here is just as strong as anything he’s putting out with weirdo poppers Fresh And Onlys. If anything, it’s even more charming due to the ‘first-thought-best-thought basis’ from which the music has been conceived. ‘Ruler Of The Night’ is nowhere near as oddball as his main output but, as with say Bradford Cox’s Atlas Sound project, it gives Cohen the freedom to evolve and progress as a songwriter, ie. do whatever the hell springs to mind.
This translates to an album of laid back ballad-centric material that takes familiar chords and themes of life and enhances them with Cohen’s patented melodic choco-sprinkles. Ghostly vocals are accompanied by loose fitting guitar chords of the eccentric folk-pop and Canterbury prog nature with only skeletal additions from collaborators James Kim (Kelley Stoltz’s band), Alicia Vanden Heuvel (Aislers Set), and Noelle Cahill coming in the form of the occasional rhythm boost, the odd synth and some beautiful backing vocals.
When it’s uplifting and breezy, as on ‘Sunny’, it sounds like Woods or one of them positive sounding modern folk-pop bands but, for the most part, this explores more downbeat themes with a laid back country vibe permeating throughout. It certainly a pleasing collection of tunes to my ears.
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