Between Darkness and Wonder (Universal)

Lamb 

Between Darkness and Wonder (Universal)

On its fourth album, Lamb displays a flair for juxtaposing disparate rhythm elements while maintaining ambient flow, most strikingly on "Angelica," where an eerie, melodic piano settles into a rhythm with drums united by a keyboard bass line. The playful experimentation allows the instruments to mesh even as the song sounds disjointed -- until your ears adjust and your mind accepts the rhythmic interplay. It's no small feat, and it hasn't been accomplished with such somber grace since Depeche Mode's "Waiting for the Night." Like that group, Lamb creates sprawling soundscapes out of sparse instrumentation. When the rhythms are in synch, as on "Sun" (which gallops along on a groove made famous by Paul Simon), the results are equally striking. The vocals sometimes overwhelm the music, but that isn't enough to capsize the solemn power that draws in the listener from the beginning.

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