The Heavenly States 


Delayer begins as well as any record could. At first blush, it's a party soundtrack for indie rockers, a rollicking good time hung on Ted Nesseth's less-than-cheery, always-lucid lyrics. But that party is gonna lag when track five, "Sun Chase Moon," starts to play. I'm gonna wait 'til the sun chases the moon away, Nesseth sings repeatedly, perhaps driving home what he's about to do. Things stay mellow through the next two songs. After the fantastically eager opening, we hear slower tempos, words drawn like yarn from the mouth, pianos, picked guitars, violin swells. These songs aren't ballads, but patient numbers that grow steadily quieter until "Roses" falls to a crawl, then "Pretty Life" suddenly jumps back up and starts to run. We feel better, but still aren't sure if it was wise to lump the slower, softer songs in the middle. While the interruption obliterates the early momentum, it also pushes the record's character past leisure to art. Not until the final two songs do we finally reclaim the driving glory of the first three — and begin to appreciate the gentle heart, which in less confident hands might've been broken and scattered across the record. The Heavenly States knew what they were doing all along. (Love Brand Music)


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