Under Review

Marjorie Fair

Self Help Serenade

Capitol

Review By Daniel McCash


I had a lot of preconceptions about Marjorie Fair’s debut effort. From the look of the cover art, I had expected either an experimental folk album or perhaps the latest from the screamo camp. In fact, I discovered a mediocre rock band with a GREAT style coordinator. As for the music, in a lot of respects this group is like Canadian “indie” soft-rockers, Pilate—flashy production techniques attempting to compensate for dull songwriting. Rob Schnapf over-produces almost every track on the album with used-to-be-cool spontaneous lo-fi vocal punch-ins and meticulously crafted background noise. But it feels as though Schnapf is just using Marjorie Fair as a demo reel for all the nifty things he can do from behind a mixing board. Ironically, the best track is also the least produced—with “Please Don’t”, the bullshit is stripped away and the honesty finally shines through on a solemnly strummed acoustic guitar and untouched vocal melodies.