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CD Review: 'The House at Sea' -- 2.5 stars

"The House at Sea" Credit: "The House at Sea"

'The House at Sea'
2.5 stars
The 2011 debut collaboration between Alasdair Maclean, late of English twee-pop group the Clientele, and Madrid-based musician Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas, had the feel of an Englishman who scrimped and saved for a Spanish holiday, stepped off the plane and promptly fell in love. The hushed musings Maclean had perfected with the Clientele were losing luster, and the new timeshare with Núñez-Fernández, with a male-female dynamic and lithe bossa nova feel, seemed a natural fit, but fell just a bit short. Their second effort, "The House at Sea," was wrapped in a fraction of the time of the first, and proves fractionally more energetic for it. With its bass-forward rhythm, opener "Voice in the Rose" and the insistent, Stereo lab-like "Day" are both shining examples of what this project could be, but wistfulness is Maclean's default setting. The duo clearly adores the material, but this seems destined to remain music you can happily ignore, knowing something lovely is playing just outside the margins.

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