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Mice Parade - Obrigado Saudade

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Artist: Mice Parade

Album: Obrigado Saudade

Label: Bubble Core

Review date: Jan. 4, 2004

For Obrigado Saudade (imperfectly translated from the Brazilian “Thank You For Being Lovesick” [?]) his fifth album under the Mice Parade name, New York resident Adam Pierce has turned in a delicately introspective and inviting performance, full of fragility, yet displaying a distinctly poppy heart. While Pierce himself plays most of the instruments in his home studio (violin, Cheng, vibes all make notable contributions), an impressive cast list of guest contributors leave their dirty paw prints all over this collection. Doug Scharin (HiM, June of 44, ex-Rex), serves up his trademark drumming rhythms on the elegant instrumental “Out Of The Freedom World”, but his influence can also be felt burrowing into the album’s more dub-flecked creations. One of the best tracks on this album, the opening “Two, Three, Fall”, features the vocal talents of Kristin Anna Valtysdottir, from Iceland’s Múm, (the band became good friends with Pierce when he stood in on drums for them during their recent tour). Her breathy, alien voice (actual words are hard to discern) travel like clouds over the skittering beat, as various strings are plucked and tweaked to conjure up a snowy paradise of ice castles and frozen lakes.

Obrigado Saudade is an album that will have you checking your collections and asking “where have I heard that before?”. Not a terribly difficult question – another glance at the list of collaborators should steer you in the right direction. You will hear a little Tortoise (on “Mystery Bretheren”), a smidgeon of HiM and a whole load of The Sea and the Cake (the guitar lines throughout echoing the string refrains of Sam Prekop and his merry band). So, while Adam Pierces’ musical companions may be responsible for the several peaks on Obrigado Saudade, they also contribute to a feeling of professional incest, reducing everything to a state of anonymity and leaving a vacuum where there should be a unique, or at the very least, distinctive voice. For all that, Obrigado Saudade is still a decidedly pleasant listening experience, if not an altogether important one.

By Spencer Grady

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