1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Unwed Sailor is another band in the growing genre of post-rock. Started by Jonathon Ford, of Pedro the Lion fame in 1998, the group began as a way for Ford to experiment with different musical ideas that couldnt happen in his other bands. Influenced by acts such as Brian Eno, among others, the band uses 2 guitars, a driving bass, and percussion to create meditative, intriguing music.
The Marionette and the Music Box is a concept album, about what else, but a marionette searching for a magic music box. The album artwork contains 17 drawings for each song on the record, each depicting a scene to go along with the particular track (which has names to serve as captions to the music and illutration), giving you an idea of whats happening in the story, although the interpretaion is ultimately left up to the listener. Also, like many concept albums, the album is meant to be listened to as a whole, not just a few individual tracks.
It is also a strong departure from their previous album, The Faithful Anchor. This album is alot more innocent and delicate sounding. There is very little bass and drums, and one of the guitars is replaced with a piano. The main percussion (consisting of wooden blocks, bells, triangles, etc., that usually add to the theme by creating simple beats), along with some samples are used to help create the mood of the story, including a wooden flute, xylaphones, a music box, and samples of birds and waves. The guitar and piano also are used to create simple melodies and tones, sometimes blended with another melody to create wonderful sounds and textures. Somehow this simplicity creates a peaceful, nice atmosphere. As well as being very dreamy and surreal, The Marionette and the Music Box is also calm and very earthy. Unwed Sailor have an ability to convey so many emotions through their music and they have done just that in this album. Even if you havent seen the illustrations, you can still 'see' the story progress and feel the characters emotions, from anywhere to sadness, despair, and joy.
Overall, this is a lovely album, whether serving as background music or just a dreamy listen. The only possible downsides would be that The Marionette in the Music Box doesnt show all of Unwed Sailor's amazing talent and is a departure from their other complex recordings. The simplicity of alot of the songs and lack of instrumentation on this album could come off as boring to certain listeners. This isn't neccesarily the best work by these guys; but it is a calming, nice album for fans of post-rock.