steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Smile and the World Smiles With You" CD

Temporary Residence Limited

Genres: post-rock, psychedelic drone, instrumental rock

Temporary Residence Limited
PO Box 11390
Portland OR 97211

Aug 4 - 10 2003

Sonna soothes the dull headache that has plagued me over the past week. Their melodies enter my ears, process in my cerebral cortex, and carry away the nagging pain. The hushed beats massage my stiff neck. Everything seems right again, temporarily. I like the way this music sounds, and I like the blissful atmosphere it creates.

Smile and the World Smiles With You runs the line between psychedelic drone music and more conventional instrumentalism. You definitely can see the hazy dreariness of Landing, Yume Bitsu, and Surface of Eceyon in their music (the fuzzy sparseness of "One Most Memorable" especially comes to mind), although the post-rock sounds of Tristeza and labelmates Tarentel are also a base for Sonna's style (the complex rhythms of "The Right Age" are a fine example). The marriage of these two styles is not farfetched or unusual, but it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable, relaxing album that is easy to like. Suffice to say, if you enjoyed Sonna's previous outings, you will no doubt be satisfied with Smile.

Sonna's roundabout, often gradual sound may limit their audience to those who are willing to chill out to its subtle melodic and rhythmic nuances. To the listener with a short attention span, Smile will be repetitive and annoyingly anti-climactic. Only in "And The World Smiles With You", the album's last track, does the band finally succumb to a semi-explosive, wonderfully percussive finale. But Smile and the World Smiles With You was not made for the short-of-patience, teenybopper population. This album was made for those who are willing to enjoy it.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2002]