Mia Doi Todd – Manzanita
Plug Research, 2005
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2006
This is a nice follow up to Erin Tobey, as I get to pair Tobey's modest lo-fi bedroom pop to Doi Todd's newfound lushly arranged baroque pop. Ironically, on all of Doi Todd's records before this one she had much more in common with Tobey, as most of those featured just her voice and a guitar. Opening track “The Way” is apparently a collaboration with stoner-rock-psych-weirdos Dead Meadow, which would be undeniably cool if it didn't feel like it was missing something. It's too safe. Despite the fair amount of stylistic diversity, the record always seems to fall a little flat. Even when she tries to spice things up, as on the reggae inflected “Casa Nova,” the melodies all seem to flatline. They're pretty and nice and hardly memorable. I was going to sell this the last time I sold records, but I thought it might be good. After all, I must have had a reason for buying it when I did. It's been in my collection since it first started taking shape around 2005-2006, so I feel like there's some sentimental value here or something but mostly it sounds like a Portishead record or something. I don't know. It's bland. In a nutshell, I thought I was listening to side two just now and only at that “Casa Nova” did I realize that I'd relistened to side one again.