Related Articles: Movies, All

Castanets Ė City of Refuge

Released on Asthmatic Kitty on 10/7/08

Castanets is really just the musical project of Raymond Raposa, currently living in New York City and City of Refuge is his fourth studio album. And actually, the record sounds just as the title invokes -- itís sort of a listening search for refuge akin to Cormac McCarthyís The Road. Surprisingly, it reminded me of Neil Youngís soundtrack for Jim Jarmuschís film Dead Man. Itís sparse, lonely and full of space. Raposaís voice doesnít even appear until the fourth track. Until then thereís only lonely guitar sounds and other noises populating the void. While itís interesting in concept, it just isnít good enough tow arrant that much attention. Raposa gives the listener no reason to go on that long with no hooks, melodies and, really, no music.

The album does offer a few reprises, namely ďIíll Fly Away,Ē an old, southern folk tune in which Raposa laments ďIíll fly away, fly away, oh glory/Iíll fly away, fly way, in the morning.Ē But itís just not enough and with nearly every song barely over 90 seconds, nothing stays long enough to get used to. Itís a great concept and an interesting listen, but in the end thereís not enough to really sink your teeth into.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Bandís Website: http://www.myspace.com/castanets