Lullatone: Little Songs About Raindrops
Audio Dregs

With Little Songs About Raindrops, Shawn James Seymour (Lullatone) shifts the focus away from the pure sine tones of last year's Computer Recital to a more expansive toy orchestra sound. Stylistically, his music retains its previous child-like, innocent qualities but now sounds even prettier. As before, the songs are charming moodscapes that cumulatively induce a peaceful reverie; there's no conventional rhythmic base to speak of, the closest thing to it a faint click that repeats throughout “Leaves Falling” like raindrop patter. Obviously one presumes that his recent move to Nagoya, Japan catalyzed the stylistic changes, as the music is now statelier and often as delicate as a Japanese garden. It's also less minimal than before, as Seymour is joined by singer Yoshimi Tomida on four songs, plus guitar and ukulele players on others. Adding to its charm is its occasional home-made feel, with brief music box tracks like “My Petit Prelude” and “Pitter Patter Interlude” sounding like they were recorded in Seymour's bedroom. Those are slight pieces, however, mere fragments compared to longer and more intricate songs like “Morning Coffee” where glockenspiels and gamelan chimes interweave with growing intensity. Amidst string plucks, a melodica sound adds a nostalgic air to the song's meditative mood as it does to other songs. Admittedly, a sameness in the sound and style starts to emerge by the midway point of the recording—most tracks develop from intricate interweaves of melodic patterns—but there's no denying the lovely marriage of lapping ukulele strums and looping glockenspiel melodies in “Leaves Falling” or the appealing onomatopoeic qualities of “Drip Drops Jumping On An Umbrella” where guitar plucks mimic bouncing water droplets.

August 2004