Majorie Fair Self Help Serenade Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

The personality of this record is one with a vulnerable heart which is easily bruised,...

Lucy Davies 2004

Majorie Fair's debut album deals with all the things that you might expect from an album titled Self Help Serenade, but in a soft and comforting way. The LA based band are classic creepers in the same vein as The Thrills, but with lyrics that address you, the listener. They ask questions like "how can you laugh, when you say the same as me", and they offer up words of encouragement: "Please don't be afraid of all you're made of, and what you are".

Singer Evan has a warm and unassuming voice that makes the most angry lyrics just sound pleading. This in combination with the clean harmonies and acoustic guitars makes this a perfect summer album.

The personality of this record is one with a vulnerable heart which is easily bruised, but is also positive and kind. Lazy lolling bass-lines and acoustic strumming underpin most songs, with spaciously placed piano, organ and strings. "Hold On To You" and "Silver Gun" betray their alt-country identity with slide guitars, and piano. "Please Don't" positively shimmers with its laid-back vocals and floaty guitars.

But my personal favourite is "Stare", which, in comparison to the rest stands out as almost menacing, with its surging riffs and doo-doo-doo chorus.

Marjorie Fair is also the name of a crimson and white hybrid musk rose, a hardy flower with good resistance to disease, described thus: "The colour of the blooms are very intense though some may have problems placing it. Otherwise, plant it and enjoy." Likewise this album: Reach for it when needing words of reassurance and encouragement, or just when it's hot outside.

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