Camera Obscura: My Maudlin Career (2009)

CameraCame Obscura

camera-obscura-my-maudlin-career-coverCamera Obscura
My Maudlin Career; 2009
4AD Record

My Rating: 59/100

I’d never heard of CAMERA OBSCURA until a few years ago, when the band was afforded all kinds of critical hoopla for the wonderful LET’S GET OUT OF THIS COUNTRY. I really dug that record. ¬†Tracyanne Campbell writes blissful and floral love songs like no other, the kind of music that skinny indie kids fall in love to while backpacking across Europe. Girl’s got a real gift. While it’s hard to say anything bad about the incidentally gorgeous MY MAUDLIN CAREER, it’s also difficult to detect any sort of growth, or even effort toward growth, therein. The overall tone of the album is so sweet it borders on nauseating, the consistency of the tracks slides into monotony, and there’s so much drama here that you’re over it all by the middle of track 3. There are plenty of moments when I suspect Tracyanne is bored herself. Which is really a shame – Campbell’s too strong a talent to be receiving a review like this. I’m just hoping that next time out she reaches outside the box and searches for something new to bring into her songwriting. The high-pop 60’s were pretty and all, but it’s time for a sonic overhaul.


1. French Navy (4.5/5)
2. The Sweetest Thing (4/5)
3. You Told a Lie (4/5)
4. Away with Murder (4/5)
5. Swans (4/5)
6. James (4/5)
7. Careless Love (4/5)
8. My Maudlin Career (4.5/5)
9. Forests & Sands (4/5)
10. Other Towns & Cities (4/5)
11. Honey in the Sun (5/5)


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