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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mirror, Netherlands

Mirror - Daybreak. 1976 private.

One of the true European rarities that I was fortunate to hear as early as 1992 or so, and then eventually traded my way into an LP copy a few years later. Sometimes it's hard to be objective about big ticket items such as this. On one hand there's a tendency to say it's great, just because it's rare as hens teeth (though the internet has mitigated this effect somewhat). Then, on the other hand, there's the temptation to state all of these rarities are just amateurish wannabees, and the only reason it's a rare private release is because they weren't good enough to sign to a major. Of course, as with most things, the truth is found on a case by case basis, and the generalities rarely apply.

With Mirror, knowing full well my sympathies weigh heavily in favor of a positive outcome, and trying to be as objective as possible, I still feel it's a strong album based on merits alone. It certainly isn't a flashy release, and the compositions aren't going to win any Conservatory awards. But what they lack in academic pedigree, they make up for in naive sincerity. Mirror bring that intangible known as atmosphere, that certain something that special recordings possess. Make no mistake, "Daybreak" is seriously flawed, but that's part of its charm. Even in my most cynical musical moments, I find albums like this refreshing. A tier 1 album. Mirror evolved into Lethe, and even managed to improve on a similar methodology. I'll feature Lethe tomorrow.

Priority: 2

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