Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It's a motto that most aptly describes Sparklehorse's latest, a merely competent album that explores little new ground. Dreamt for Light Years, his first record in five years, is a likeable entry in the singer Mark Linkous's somewhat folky discography, but it won't command anyone's attention.

A pair of fairly straightforward rockers - "Ghost in the Sky" and "It's Not So Hard" - provide this album with the occasional punch. However, most of the album is dead set on going at a morphine-addled snail's pace. Linkous doesn't bother to pen the deep, thoughtful lyrics he'd need to really succeed. Only the heavenly "Some Sweet Day" manages to truly impress, thanks to some lush instrumentation and a standout vocal performance.

Much of the rest of the album might just pass you by if you're not careful. Fans of bands like the Olivia Tremor Control and American Analog Set would do well to check this album out. The curious, however, are probably better off looking into Sparklehorse's earlier work.


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