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Shipping News, "Very Soon, And in Pleasant Company"

Jason Noble and Jeff Mueller's musical collaborations first manifested on the only release from Rodan back in 1994. Following the split, Jason went to the Rachel's and Jeff to June of '44 but the two came together along in 1996 to record with for the PBS program "This American Life." Kyle Crabtree (from Eleven Eleven) joined in 1997 and a debut album, "Save Everything" was released. Four years later, a second album has arrived with help from Christina Files (Mary Timony, Victory at Sea) twiddling knobs.


Very Soon and In Pleasant Company - Shipping News

The song structure and instrumental makeup might be somewhat formulaic for matured slow indie rock, but the delivery is achingly sincere. Impressive on here are the changing dynamics from mathematic squealy guitar ditties to sweet, lush ballads accented with strings, vibes and outside sources. While Files has proved her competancy in role of producer already, she has truly taken a big step forward with this record. The mixture on this album between instrumets and environmental sounds is perfectly blended, enough to hear but never overbearing. The year is young but this very well may be voted one of the best rock albums of 2001.