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Sparklehorse: It’s a Wonderful Life (Parlophone)

Djuna Parnes, Rock's Backpages, December 2001

A GANGLY Virginian whispering fractured Victrola lullabies in the soft falsetto of a geeky angel, Mark Linkous occasionally borders on greatness. The third ’horse album proper was implicitly a document of healing and recuperation after the man's close chemical brush with death. There was a mystical tenderness about the best songs, American-gothic cousins that they are to murky Mercury Rev and fissured Flaming Lips. ‘Gold Day’ was gorgeously uplifting; ‘Dog Door’ was romping Tom Waits trip-hop; and the P.J. Harvey duet ‘Eyepennies’ was as wastedly soulful as any of the bleak ballads on Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.

Total word count of piece: 101