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Magic City (1997)

Artist: Helium
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Magic City CD 1 of 1

Learn more about Magic City:

Format: CD
Sku: 60318337
UPC: 744861019527
UPC 14: 00744861019527
Release Date: 9/9/1997
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Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Vibrations ~ Helium
2. Leon's Space Song ~ Helium
3. Ocean Of Wine ~ Helium
4. Aging Astronauts ~ Helium
5. Medieval People ~ Helium
6. Lady Of The Fire ~ Helium
7. Lullaby Of The Moths ~ Helium
8. Revolution Of Hearts (Pts. 1 & 2) ~ Helium
9. Ancient Cryme ~ Helium
10. Cosmic Rays ~ Helium
11. Devil's Tear ~ Helium
12. Clementine ~ Helium
13. Blue Rain Soda ~ Helium
14. Walk Away ~ Helium

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Helium: Mary Timony (vocals, various instruments); Ash Bowie (various instruments); Shawn K.D. (drums).
Muze PNote Additional personnel: Mitch Easter (guitar, pedal steel, slide guitar, mandolin, percussion, background vocals); Andrew Emmett (violin); Ken Wilmot (trumpet).
Muze PNote Personnel: Mitch Easter (guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, percussion, background vocals); Andrew Emmett (violin); Shawn, Viceroy (drums).
Muze PNote Audio Mixer: Mitch Easter.
Muze PNote Recording information: Fidelitorium (1997).
Muze PNote Editor: Chris Stamey.
Muze PNote While Helium's full-length debut THE DIRT OF LUCK wandered around the deeper crevices and netherworlds of the human soul, its second album THE MAGIC CITY finds Mary Timony's trio exploring an external, mythical world. Wearing its J.R.R. Tolkien influence on its sleeve, THE MAGIC CITY revels in songs of the medieval world; lullabies, romance and dragons and other fanciful, mythical beasts are all food for Helium's bizarre, quasi-Renaissance twist on dissonant guitar-driven indie rock.
Muze PNote For the most part on THE MAGIC CITY, Timony's vocals float over songs that meander playfully through dramatically different movements--a particularly stunning example of this being the hypnotic, symphonic eight-minute "The Revolution of Hearts." "Leon's Space Song" whirls around the maypole, setting raging, insistent yet traditional violins against ultra-modern lyrics and a timeless melody. While Timony has an enticing and unique voice, the most spellbinding track of all, the organ driven instrumental "Medieval People," abandons vocals entirely for a dervish-like intensity.

Producer: Helium; Mitch Easter

Engineer: Mitch Easter

Musical Guests
Muze Guest Artist Mitch Easter

Artist Overview

Formed in 1991 in Boston, Helium was the indie rock stomping ground for the wonderfully perverse mind of Mary Timony, where psychosexuality met a mythological universe over a feast of distorted melody. A trio basking in contradictions, Helium's compositions married the grimy to the orchestral, the grim to the gleefully buoyant, as Timony delicately (yet forcefully) delivered twisted songs about vampires, angels, demons, dragons, and whatever other apparitions caught her fancy. After two college radio chart-topping full-lengths and three EPs on Matador, the trio called it quits at the end of the 1990s, with Timony tumbling into a prolific solo career.

Associated Artists and Works

Star Hustler

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 09/08/1997
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 1997
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : OLE 1952
Music Label Name Label : Matador (record label)
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00744861019527

Professional Reviews

Rolling Stone (10/16/97, p.110)
- 3 Stars (out of 5)
- "...Features the band's usual ragged arrangements and Mary Timony's trademark breathy vocals, but the album is also imbued with a rainbow of otherworldly keyboards and sprawling rhythms that recall space explorers like Can and Nektar...

Spin (11/97, pp.149-150)
- 8 (out of 10)
- "...Timony's guitar work is decidely more forceful, carefully straddling New Wave weirdness and feel-good '70s-rock soloing. Keyboards color ever track, but unlike a lot of bands trying to `do' electronica, Helium look backward, using harpsichords, Fender Rhodes, and Moog..."

Entertainment Weekly (9/12/97, p.138)
- "This sophomore effort finds the Boston trio replacing the lurching venom of its prior work with gentler art-pop approach that meshes nicely with singer/guitarist Mary Timony's impressionistically revealing lyrics..." - Rating: A-

Magnet (11-12/97, p.68)
- "...boasts one of Mitch Easter's best production jobs in a while, and Timony, bassmeister Ash Bowie and drummer Shawn Devlin are all near the top of their game..."

Musician (11/97, p.87)
- "...Helium has added all manner of deft sonic touches to these fourteen tracks....At its best, this album is excellent reminder...of what can be achieved when you don't automatically step on the overdrive."

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