Dora Flood
"Highlands"

(Elephant Stone Records 2004)Dora Flood - Highlands

Gentle melodies float weightlessly in a spacey psychedelic atmosphere on Dora Flood's fifth album, "Highlands." The band's mellow jams that make up a good portion of the album remain focused, instead of indulgent. Always with a card up their sleeve, Dora Flood maintains control of "Highlands," keeping you guessing from song to song. Their ritual changing of style and direction is more than enough to keep your interest with their welcoming and comforting sound.

Electronics whirl and swirl around, engulfing you on "Evening on My Mind" for an atmospheric 80s-style sound as "Stargazing" blends symphony with synthesizers for a spacey and lush sound that seemingly floats on breathy vocals. Dora Flood put a little bounce into their step with the thumping instrumentation of "The View" and the rhythmically driven "Throwing Wishes." Psychedelic sounds wash over you with the smooth melodies of "Phantasm" and "Where You Belong" while "Echoes" soars on a soft melody. Dora Flood leader Michael Padilla's vocals approach a gentle whisper in your ear on the spacey ballad "Two Passing Shadows" and the low key groove "Experimental Phase."

Dora Flood's ragged edges add texture to "Highlands," stretching vocals and melodies to their limits with definite results and are responsible for the feeling and character of the songs. From upbeat feel good to ethereal melodies, Dora Flood has not only a range but the experience to make it work.

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