Translations: Daydreams and Memories
October Man

A hazy, neo-psychedelic aura rises off of Christian McClain's oft-pretty Translations material, and the eight folk lullabies comprising Daydreams and Memories manage to sound mystical but not pretentious. There's a nice soft-loud balance (though the balance tips slightly towards the former), plus some novel touches during the half-hour trip. The swoop of a bowed guitar, for example, boosts the stately, mantra-like flow of “In Zen” while pizzicato plucks lend “Twilight at Noon” a rather oriental character; in addition, high-pitched vocals lift its acoustic folk style high above the ground, and electric guitars bring some late-inning ferocity to the song too. Intricate vocal counterpoint in “Crowded Room” suggests a Brian Wilson influence while the breathy vocals and acoustic folk style of “Autumn Dream” call to mind both Nick Drake and Songs Of Green Pheasant. The very title “A Daydream in Smoke” offers a reasonably good encapsulation of the Translations style.

January 2008