Outburn (#14, Spring, 2001)
Odor of Pears

Crown of Thorns

DARK ELECTRONIC GOTH:  As their second full-length album, Crown of Thorns proves from beginning to end, Odor of Pears has grown a bit darker and stranger, yet still their music maintains the same sensual beauty found on their first album, Mortal.  Crown of Thorns opens with the relatively light hearted "Invocation" to Aradia, a joyful pagan dance with just a touch of Middle Eastern harmonics.  From here on out, though, the music and mood gain heaviness of heart and mind.  From the ironic self-exaltation of the masochistic monster in "Cage" to the martyr Joan of Arc's aggrieved plea in the desperately sorrowful "Joan," the haunted personalities which emerge from the music here--each given their own individual spirit through Diana Blackwell's beautiful and versatile voice--are inspired and even complex.  Joe K.'s keyboard work is both creative and evocative, with layer over luxuriant layer of choral voices, synth orchestral strings, eerie decorative noises, and danceable percussive lines.  These tracks mentioned above, along with the more somber pieces on Crown of Thorns, are my favorites.  But not every subject matter tackled here is terribly serious, and Odor of Pears proves it has a sense of humor (however dark it may be).  Examples are found when a sweet little girl gets a new toy in "Dildo" and disarmingly playful, though furtively angry, anti-Fundamentalist rants abound on the track "Fuck Christianity."  But through the flexibility of their music, Odor of Pears carries the burdens of both tragic and sex crazed sweetie, among other darkly peculiar lading, with equal grace.  -- Lara Haynes

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Odor of Pears 2004, Rev: 02/10/04