"Seasons of Your Day", Mazzy Star's first album since 1996, reunites the dreampop duo of Hope Sandoval and David Roback. Despite the long hiatus, not much has changed about the group's sound: The new album highlights Sandoval's wistful, melancholic vocals and Roback's shoegazy guitars.
Nothing here is as catchy as the group's 1993 hit "Fade Into You", but Mazzy Star was never about churning out the hits. And on "Seasons of Your Day", the duo picks up where it left off: creating moody, atmospheric music. Album opener "In the Kingdom" picks up with a sultry organ melody and Sandoval's dreamy vocals, which elevate mundane moments—taking a train, walking outside—to watercolor movie scenes.
The rest of the album follows suit. "I've Gotta Stop" conveys an ache both from Sandoval's voice and Roback's guitar tone, and the duo embraces sparse silences on the expansive "Does Someone Have Your Baby Now?"
Sometimes, however, things get a little too dreamy. The percussionless songs, especially the meandering "Spoon", could have used a drummer's rhythm and structure.
But even a few shapeless tracks can't detract from the overall mood. "Seasons of Your Day" holds up beautifully next to Mazzy Star's three previous albums.
-- Catherine P. Lewis