Her Majesty – Memory & Loss

Her Majesty – Memory & Loss / 2005 Bittersweet Records / 8 Tracks / http://www.hermajestyny.com / hermajesty1@verizon.net / Reviewed 09 April 2005

Her Majesty is a band that defies easy categorization. Dreamy pop looks back to the mid-to-late nineties, with tracks like “All This Beauty” taking cues from Feeder and Sean Lennon. The band is not content with just being two guitars, keyboards and drums but layers each track on “Memory & Loss” with a tremendous array of soundings, making it almost seem as if an entire orchestra is backing them up, instead of just a small four-piece. Moving into a Pink Floyd-sounding arrangement for “Sugarman”, Her Majesty continues their very innocuous and safe sounding style of music, only breaking from that construct during the emotive bass line laid down on the track. The band thing, like the Dwight Ritcher band, is that the average track on “Memory & Loss” is too laid-back and circular, making the entire experience suffer as the emotions of the average listener are never stirred up. “Fade” is a track firmly mounted in the 1980’s, taking as dogma artists like Crowded Houuse and Peter Gabriel, the perfect music to end a John Hughes movie.

The brief moments on “Memory & Loss” that really cause listeners to give the disc a little more attention and break its persuasive spell of mediocrity include the guitar solos that compromise such a large part of tracks like “Radio Dreaming”. It is when John starts to strain eir vocals, really put some emotional involvement into the track that Her Majesty’s greatest successes happen. Reaching the end of the disc with the Neil Young-styled “Season In Hell”, Her Majesty showcases in the space of one song the main issues I’ve had with the disc up to this point. While the fuzzy guitar makes its presence throughout the entire track, the solo (even as intricate as it is) seems to not be infused with the burning passion to excite the audience, and as such listeners are left without much invested in the track as a whole.

Her Majesty is talented, don’t get me wrong but there is an artificial wall constructed between the band and their audience that really dissipates any ties that both groups could have, mainly through the oft-mentioned anemia that strikes all the tracks on “Memory & Loss”. If the band could provide less mastering of their studio tracks or even put some live tracks on their next disc, chances are listeners could get emotionally involved with the band.

Top Tracks: Season In Hell, Sugarman

Rating: 5.3/10

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