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Sky Cries Mary: Taking the Stage Live 1997-2005

The spacey and psychedelic jam-band vibe of Sky Cries Mary permeates this smoldering set of live tracks recorded over an eight-year period at various venues. Worth noting is that Taking the Stage includes live versions of previously unreleased recordings, some of them engineered by former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. While applause is barely audible and the band's interaction with its audience is nonexistent the material from different shows blends seamlessly to create a single cosmic concert experience.

The male and female members of Sky Cries Mary blur vocals recalling Jim Morrison, Kate Bush, Kate Pierson, Stevie Nicks and maybe even Fiona Apple with U2 guitars and a dense rhythm section while taking plenty of instrumental detours. The band casts a spell over listeners with these 12 lush and swirling performances, with the highlight arguably being "Don't Forget the Sky," which shows off the full range of Anisa Romero's voice. But by the time Taking the Stage closes with a radically altered bonus track of "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & The Papas, it's all started to sound a bit redundant. Longtime fans (the band's history dates back to the late Eighties) and those listeners hoping to hear what they've missed should nevertheless still be pleased.

Track Listing:
1) Taking the Stage
2) Rain
3) Walla Walla/Moving Like Water
4) Cornerman
5) Don't Forget the Sky
6) The Ant, The Stars, The Owl and Its Prey
7) Remember Me the Wind
8) Nowhere
9) Want
10) Gliding
11) Elephant Song
12) Walk of Nothingness
13) California Dreamin' (bonus track)

Added: September 5th 2011
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Sky Cries Mary Website
Hits: 4029
Language: english

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Sky Cries Mary: Taking the Stage Live 1997-2005
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-09-05 02:16:57
My Score:

Sky Cries Mary formed in 1986 and released their debut Until the Grinders Cease in 1989. After many lineup changes and an extended hiatus, the U.S. band is back with a brand new release entitled Taking The Stage - Live 1997-2005.

In the band are Broderick and Anisa Romero (vocals), Ben Ireland (drums and percussion), Michael Cozzi (guitar, programming), Juano (bass, percussion, acoustic guitar, backing vocals), William Bernhard (guitar, keyboards, programming), Jill Wangsgard (keyboards, acoustic guitar) and Todd Robbins (keyboards, sound effects). It's a full lineup and the band sounds great live. Whatever you want to call this music psychedelic, space or just plain atmospheric rock, the band has a penchant for writing high quality tunes with a melodic flair that will have you coming back for more.

This is atmospheric stuff to be sure and if you like the spacey/psychedelic side of Pink Floyd you will probably dig Sky Cries Mary. The recording generally sounds very nice and the songs flow together seamlessly. The music is not overly complicated and the songs generally stay within the same musical vein but the band are very good at what they do.

The first two tracks, "Taking The Stage" and "Rain" were recorded live in Seattle in 1997 and show off the band's space driven roots quite nicely complete with psych infused guitar solos and atmospheric synths and effects. "Rain" in particular has a stellar build up with a spoken word section that is as Floyd-like as the album gets before slightly bluesy textures take over with a great bass line and crisp drumming from Ireland. The groove laden "WallaWalla/Moving Like Water" features another great build up and almost tribal like drum work.

One of my personal favourites has to be the ethereal "Don't Forget The Sky" with Anisa Romero's soaring vocals. They are truly outstanding. The album ends with a reworking of The Mamas & the Papas' classic "California Dreamin".

This is a very good live album from Sky Cries Mary. Taking the Stage confirms this band is a force to reckoned with in a live setting.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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