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Mecca Normal
The Observer
May 21, 2006
by Katie Sauro

Desperation, loneliness, and uncertainty abound on
The Observer, the latest from veteran Vancouver duo Mecca Normal. The album thematically centers around frontwoman Jean Smith’s adventures and misadventures in online dating (the cover of the album is a photo of Smith that she uses on the dating site Lavalife), and the cold, embittered results. With this their 12th album, dating back to their first release in 1984, Smith and guitarist David Lester have composed a startling collection of heartrending poetry, quiet yet defiant, over minimalist electric guitar and the occasional piano. A bit doleful for some, perhaps, but undeniably powerful, especially the spare beauty of “Attraction is Ephemeral” and the 12-minute marathon that is “Fallen Skier.”   

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