October 13, 2000


Hearts Of Palm

(Idaho Music)


On Hearts of Palm, Idaho works with a limited palette: The songs drift from somber soundscape to yearning, minor-key melody, augmented by lazy guitar— with just a few moments of urgency to balance out the slow melancholy.

But this is the way Jeff Martin — Idaho’s singer-bassist and sole constant band member—has done things since their well-received 1993 debut; Year After Year. Martin’s emotion-drenched vocals are a fitting match for guitarist Dan Seta’s meandering string-work, and the result is an album full of hauntingly beautiful tracks with enough depth to make up for its lack of energy.

Highlights include the angst-filled title track, the airy “This Cloud We’re On,” and “Alta Dena”‘s slow. Pavement-like contemplation. “To Be the One” - the album’s delicate opener— is a gorgeous piano ballad showcasing Martin’s expressive vocals and paves the way for the rest of the album’s unpolished, yet affecting, musical ruminations.

Kirsten Terry

CDNOW Editorial Staff