The Sleepy Strange

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Building on the accessible experimentation on If I Could See Dallas and the Down the Elements EP, Japancakes' aptly named second album, The Sleepy Strange, is both dreamy and earthy, complex and immediate, and challenging and soothing. Though their modus operandi -- repeating melodic phrases for hours at a time to highlight the subtle shifts in tone and rhythm -- remains the same, The Sleepy Strange is the band's most cohesive work to date, yet it keeps all of the spontaneous beauty of their previous releases. If anything, the slightly more focused sound highlights the band's strong melodies and interplay, making it one of the warmest, most inviting post-rock albums ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Building on the accessible experimentation on If I Could See Dallas and the Down the Elements EP, Japancakes' aptly named second album, The Sleepy Strange, is both dreamy and earthy, complex and immediate, and challenging and soothing. Though their modus operandi -- repeating melodic phrases for hours at a time to highlight the subtle shifts in tone and rhythm -- remains the same, The Sleepy Strange is the band's most cohesive work to date, yet it keeps all of the spontaneous beauty of their previous releases. If anything, the slightly more focused sound highlights the band's strong melodies and interplay, making it one of the warmest, most inviting post-rock albums since Jim O'Rourke's Eureka, which also featured a fair amount of Japancakes' secret weapon, the pedal steel guitar. Whether it takes the lead, as on the opening waltz "The Waiting," or adding to the weightless beauty of "Disconnect the Cables"' avant soft rock, the group's masterful use of the instrument gives the music a dreamy, strangely western-tinged timelessness. The surprisingly propulsive "Soft N EZ" adds naive-sounding analog synths to fiddles and pedal steel, highlighting the group's highly inventive and somewhat startling mix of styles and sounds within one track. This is also Japancakes' most varied album, both musically and emotionally; "This Year's Beat" subtly shifts from brooding to assuring, while the loopy, languid title track and the dark string- and keyboard-driven finale, "Vinyl Fever," couldn't be farther apart in sound or mood. Hypnotically beautiful, The Sleepy Strange is the best representation yet of Japancakes' exciting repetitions, and one of 2001's best albums.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/12/2008
  • Label: Darla Records
  • UPC: 708527019122
  • Catalog Number: 191
  • Sales rank: 247,282

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Waiting (8:17)
  2. 2 Disconnect the Cables (7:22)
  3. 3 This Year's Beat (5:06)
  4. 4 Vanishing Point (3:23)
  5. 5 Soft N Ez (4:39)
  6. 6 The Sleepy Strange (7:57)
  7. 7 Vinyl Fever (12:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Japancakes Primary Artist
Todd Kelly Keyboards, Track Performer, Group Member
John Neff Pedal Steel Guitar, Track Performer, Group Member
Nick Bielli Bass, Track Performer, Group Member
Eric Berg Guitar, Track Performer, Group Member
Heather McIntosh Cello
Technical Credits
Todd Kelly Producer
Andy Baker Engineer, Engineering
Eric Berg Producer
Japancakes Producer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Spacy Country

    This is the only Japancakes CD I've heard. It's a real mellow, spacy groove without vocals. Very country-influenced - if you heard ten seconds of it on the radio you'd think it was country. Slide guitars, strings and all. The CD is real relaxing, mind-expanding with some interesting, laconically presented rhythm arrangements and key changes, to my unschooled ears sounds like they really like to transition between major and augmented minor chords. Great driving, hanging-out or in my case programming music!

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