With their flowery name -- it's a variety of rose -- one might expect Marjorie Fair's sound to be a pastiche of '60s psychedelia along the lines of the Left Banke or the Zombies. The lush harmonies found on the group's debut definitely recall Side 2 of Abbey Road, and a melotron does makes an appearance, but the main influences seem to be Radiohead and Jeff Buckley. The brainchild of multitalented Evan Slamka, Marjorie Fair meticulously craft gorgeous epics with guitars that alternately sparkle, jangle, and soar. Self Help Serenade sounds like a million bucks, which is not surprising, as nearly every major L.A. session musician plays on it, from relative newcomers Jon Brion and Joey Waronaker to legendary keyboard players Kim Bullard and Billy Preston. Slamka's songwriting may not yet be up to the quality of the production and musicianship, but the album contains three flat-out great numbers: "Stare," boasting the kind of swaying chorus that disposable lighters were made for; "Halfway House," whose harmonies are as pretty as its guitar solo is smolderingly intense; and the near-perfect single "Waves." If the rest of Self Help Serenade settles for being merely very good, it's a compromise that is worth hearing.