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  Two Conversations
Artist: Appleseed Cast
Label: Tiger Style Records
Length: 10 tracks

Appleseed Cast was one of the first bands to come along before emo was popular and to give meaning and definition to the genre. With their previous release Low Level Owl I & II the band ventured into more experimental territory, playing with an atmospheric sound that gave the music more originality and definition in the world of emo clones. Now Appleseed Cast has released the album that they were always destined to make. An album that will find lovers of fine music neglecting their other CDs for an extended amount of time while soaking up the pleasures that Two Conversations provides.

The album opening song "Hello Dearest Love" starts with a sparse piano instrumental as the sound of guitar amps turning on is heard. Lush guitar lines then blend with the piano as the music lulls the listener into a sense of peacefulness. At just the right time, drums come crashing in and the guitar pedals are hit. With layers of echo the vocals come through and the sudden realization comes to the listener: this is great music.

The music of Appleseed Cast isn't too terribly removed from bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Serene. However, they have an undeniably strong atmospheric influence that carries the music along, allowing the songs to float at a pace that is both well-timed and relaxingly laid back.

One of the best things about Two Conversations is its cohesiveness. Songs follow other songs for a reason. This is not to say that all of the songs sound alike. "Sinking" brings in a heavier sound than the band generally dabbles in. Songs like "The Page" and "How Life Can Turn" even at times bring Wilco to mind. But somehow all of these songs fit. The peacefulness of the intro to "Hello Dearest Love" is returned to at the end of the album closer "A Dream for Us," providing an appropriate conclusion to this musical journey.

Two Conversations is a sonic feast that does not disappoint. Every song matters and to skip any song while listening to the CD is to miss out. Without a doubt, Appleseed Cast has released an album that future bands in their genre will be measured against. Given the quality of this release, those bands will have a lot to measure up to. 

Trae Cadenhead 

Trae Cadenhead is a student at Union University. He is pursuing a Digital Media Studies major with a Film Studies minor and plans to become involved in film making following school. Trae also has an enormous interest in music. Along with writing for the Tollbooth, Trae maintains Loconotion (, a digital archive of his thoughts on music and movies as well as a gallery of the art and video work he is doing.

The Appleseed Cast finished their Deep Elm tenure with an ambitious pair of albums in Low Level Owl parts I and II.  The bandís Tiger Style debut continues the bandís effort to paint emotions and create heavy poetry, with or without the use of words.  While the musical palette stresses atmosphere and space as before, the martial rhythms of drummer Josh Baruth are stressed on "Ice Heavy Branches," as Chris Crisciís yearning voice repeats "we could both be naked now and innocent."  If thereís a concept to Two Conversations, itís exploring the effort required in love.  "Hello Dearest Love," "Losing Touching Searching," the painful and immediate "Fight Song," and the soothing "A Dream for Us" mine the near-misses, disappointments, hopes and joys involved in the slow climb away from isolation.  

Jeff Elbel 10/14/2003

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