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The Helio Sequence 

Love and Distance

Wednesday, Jun 16 2004
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The whole of Love and Distance, the third full-length album from Portland-based two-man outfit the Helio Sequence, smacks of church. The opening track, "Harmonica Song," with its electronic bass line spinning along in time with a lonely train whistle of a harmonica and vocals that soar through lyrics about "freedom" and "the moment," is like a road-trip conversation about God. The harmonica is a dangerously gimmicky choice that, rather than becoming overbearing, adds a subtle wistfulness to the contemplative, Nick Drake-like afternoon nap of "Looks Good." The mop-top beat and Abbey Road guitars of "Don't Look Away" worship at the temple of jubilant, infectious pop. Evangelizing alternately from a street corner, a tent revival, or a grandiose cathedral, Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel have re-created the ecstatic joy and hushed reverence of a big, blissful spiritual experience -- without any of that nasty, dogmatic guilt or penitence.

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Rachel Devitt

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