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The In-between Time
Artist: Common Children
Label: Galaxy 21 Music

When, with 1997ís seminal Delicate Fade, Common Children purged their sound of the grunge that had so permeated their debut, Skywire, critics were probably a little surprised. But when the band faded into obscurity shortly thereafter, they had to have been shocked. Delicate Fade was a masterpiece, and a testament to both loss and the regaining of that which was lost. 

Four years later, and out of nowhere, Common Children have returned with The In-between Time, which picks up quite nicely where Delicate Fade left off. Itís more atmospheric and dense than its predecessor, building vast soundscapes with chorus and compression pedals. 

Thatís not to say the album doesnít have its raging moments. "Celebrity Virtue" is in the same vein as Fadeís "Burn" and "Pulse," with frontman Marc Byrd hissing "You sell the truth like a cheap deceiver" one minute and howling "Iím talking to you!" over and over again the next. But even this track fades directly into "Morning Star," which is as atmospheric and pedal-driven as anything else the bandís ever done. 

Still, I must confess that while the spacey tracks are enjoyable, itís the rockers that keep pulling me back in. "Entertaining Angels" mixes chiming and fuzzy guitars to wonderful effect, and "Free" would sound like the best tracks from The Choirís latest record even without its references to Steve Hindalong. Itís good to have Common Children backóletís hope it wonít be another four years.

Michial Farmer 9/6/2001



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