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Alternative & Indie - Released August 15, 2016 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 6, 2006 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 5, 2006 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 5, 2006 | 4AD

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Folk/Americana - Released June 17, 2002 | 4AD

This five-song EP is a lovely complement to Halstead's grand debut solo album. On the surface, only two songs are new, but even the three that are familiar titles are reasonably different experiences. The title track appears in two new guises: It's just as summer-breeze-tempting done "Surf Style" as the LP version, and a rethink remix finds it presented in a third light -- not as light and airy, and infused with a light backbeat groove, scratchy guitar, and female backing vocals, which twice give way to a completely different spaghetti western bridge. The alternate version of "See You on Rooftops" might be better than the sweet LP one, as it relies even more on the circular-pattern picking on the acoustic, and a slightly more relaxed tempo/feel that makes it really sigh and hum. "Sailing Man" and especially "Between the Bars" satisfy and are easily of the LP's standard. The former is full of spatial quiet and the latter folky prize, recorded live at an acoustic gig in Liverpool, shows that there's plenty more in Halstead's pen. Indeed, "Between the Bars" is one of those tracks that hints of cowboy solitude, evoking dusty roads on the old West's deserts/plains: Time passing as the horse walks slowly, the water is scarce, and the throat and heart are equally dry. But the lyrics are not of that travelogue, they're instead full of regret and hankering for that someone who made a singular impression you can't shake. "Still remembered how you danced/Laughing hard between the bars/You always were pretty good at getting high for someone so small/Swear I won't let go this time." It makes you want to go back and find that person; it makes you want to find this EP. ~ Jack Rabid
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Folk/Americana - Released November 19, 2001 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 3, 2000 | 4AD

The opening cut from Mojave 3's third and most varied album opens with a simple acoustic guitar melody and even simpler piano stylings, but In Love with a View hardly heralds a return to the austere beauty of the group's debut effort Ask Me Tomorrow. Instead, it builds layer upon layer of new textures from steel guitar to backing vocals, culminating in a droning crescendo evoking the dreamscapes created by Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell a lifetime earlier in Slowdive. The B-side houses an electric version of Excuses for Travellers' "Prayer for the Paranoid" that fleshes out the song's structure but fails to match the album version's palpable desperation. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 5, 1998 | 4AD

Mojave 3 likely grew tired of the words "Mazzy Star" being thrown into the otherwise encouraging reviews of their sparkling, twinkling Ask Me Tomorrow. So, the band keeps the sound but expands the style to incorporate gaping helpings of Dylan, from Blonde on Blonde to Nashville Skyline. Bullseye. Only one song is as amazing and heart-tugging as Ask Me Tomorrow's "Love Songs on the Radio" and "Candle Song": "Give What You Take" actually reconfigures Slowdive's propensity for waves of luscious hooks, led by Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell's still otherworldly, wonderfully brother-and-sister-like (actually they are an ex-couple) harmonies. One can easily take issue with their decision to cut Goswell's spectacular throat out of the lead vocal equation after seven years, but as she remains a force on Halstead's choruses, singing countermelodies at his side, it's hard to quibble too much. The songs tickle by, softly floating timelessly, tirelessly, and the vocals are like a pillow for your head as you listen, enraptured, on the single "Some Kinda Angel," another first-rate piece of unhurried pop, and the more gripping "Keep It All Hid" and the gurgling "Baby's Coming Home." Not so much laconic as measured, the Mojave five perch on the precipice of masterpiece, with subtle keyboards, an absolutely sorrowful lap steel on "Give What You Take," and tasteful brass on two others. The only time the LP stumbles briefly is on the unplugged number, "Yer Feet," and only because Halstead foolishly slurs like Dylan, vaulting over the line of inspiration into cheap imitation. ("Who Do You Love" also borrows a little too heavily in vocal mannerism from the one-time Robert Zimmerman, but gets away with it more, thanks to the lush backing track.) The rest is gold, baby. Out of Tune may well be the least English record made in those isles -- the cover shot of surfers hints that California is the place, but Neil Young's folky California, not the Wilson/Love/Jardine slice -- and, in this case, profits for it. ~ Jack Rabid
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 29, 1998 | 4AD

Evoking the Band with their dusty guitars and wheezing organ fills, "Who Do You Love" served notice that Mojave 3's sophomore effort, Out of Tune, would boast a more traditional, robust sound than the preceding Ask Me Tomorrow -- in fact, all three of the Neil Halstead songs comprising this limited-edition EP channel the same front-porch Americana feeding Dylan's Basement Tapes sessions, with both material and performances that back up such lofty comparisons. Particularly noteworthy is "This Road I'm Travelling," which was inexplicably cut from Out of Tune's original U.K. release (and appended to its U.S. reissue), yet is one of Halstead's most fully realized and heartfelt tunes. ~ Jason Ankeny

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