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World Music CD Reviews North American

The Hylozoists

By John Kuhlman
Published March 20, 2007

La Fin Du Monde


Large-scale ensemble Hylozoists put their best foot forward on their second album, opening strongly with a bouncy lounge-prog number whose swirling strings and Three Suns-style organ riffing put it less than a million miles from the complex, telepathic stuff that the Norwegian band Jaga Jazzist is doing these days. Soon, though, they settle into calmer waters, spreading out on extended tracks of slow and stately orchestral post-rock (closer to the sound of the Ordinaires, if anyone remembers them) and using their extended palette (vibes, trumpet, steel guitar, and particularly the aforementioned strings) to lend a melancholy, carnivalesque elegance to the material that, combined with the occasional sticky vocal/lyrical intrusions, may limit the album's general utility. But this makes it ideal accompaniment for specific emotional situations such as, perhaps, reading in the paper about the death of a man who used to deliver your mail, or attending the wedding of a three-legged cat.