Mountainsby Mary Timony
Mary Timony has been a darling of the underground scene for the better part of the '90s, thanks to her stewardship of the band Helium. Years ago Timony's smoldering intensity blew Liz Phair off stage during a CBGBs double bill, and by all accounts the Boston-based songstress hasn't lost a step, although she has made a radical shift in focus. MOUNTAINS bears little resemblance to Helium's feedback- and distortion-drenched early output like PIRATE PRUDE and THE DIRT OF LUCK. But this first CD under Timony's own name is a close relative of Helium's more recent THE MAGIC CITY and NO GUITARS, pursuing the same medieval art rock muse (Gentle Giant fans, you're finally free to emerge from the closet!). Betraying her extensive classical training, Timony provides all the instrumentation except drums, pushing attention toward sparse piano, harpsichord, and cleanly picked guitar. Her mystical themes and off-kilter, piano-driven melodic sensibility may also strike a chord with fans of Tori Amos. Despite its mannered veneer and evocations of Olde England, MOUNTAINS harbors an undercurrent of sinister tension (as has most of Helium's work) that would make you think twice about crossing Timony. "We've got a plan and we're gonna do bad," she dryly intones on "The Golden Fruit." Somehow you believe her.
- Release Date:
- Matador Records
Performance CreditsMary Timony Primary Artist,Vocals
John McEntire Synthesizer,Vibes
Ash Bowie Percussion
Technical CreditsBob Weston Engineer
John McEntire Engineer
Eric Masunaga Engineer
Christina Files Engineer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Upon first review of this album, 'Mountains' may barely score 2 stars from the listener. Timony's previous band and project, Helium, was such a tour de force-- yet easily one of the most overlooked alternative bands in the 90's. That may be the story of Timony's life. She is just so damn underrated. After a few listens, 'Mountains' is incredibly deep. Perhaps, a bit medieval too, sure. Though a lo-fi produced album, the guitars are rich, the piano: pensive, and her voice as full as ever. Her opener "The Dungeon Dance" is a quick, simple piano and voice number. And when she whispers- everything slowly comes to a halt, yourself included. Other fine examples on the album (though essentially each song is), are "I Fire Myself" which though incredibly catchy, is really more disturbing lyrically. "The Hour Glass" is quite a standout, merely for the radical violin that controls the song. "An-Deluzion" is spacey and plain gorgeous, while the closer "Rider on the Stormy Sea" can sit with the best of Helium. All in all, this is an album just needs some patience. Preferably yours.