In hindsight, 1992 wasn’t the most opportune time to launch a low-key alt-folk combo like Ida. While the rest of the pop world was loud and grungy, the NYC–based group sounded, unfashionably, like 3 a.m. in the Bible Belt. Based on Lovers Prayers, the group’s seventh full-length, not much has changed since then. Those on a steady diet of Red Bull and NoDoz caffeine pills will quickly become frustrated by whisper-quiet tracks such as “Willow Tree”. Still, there are moments verging on sublime, whether it’s the Crazy Horse guitar flare-up in the title track or the droning harmonium that wavers in and out of the mix. The killer cut is, fittingly, “The Killers 1964″, an acoustic soft-rocker based on a forgotten Ronald Reagan B-movie. Five years ago, the song might have landed Ida on the NYC freak-folk map, thanks to lyrics that imagine the Gipper being punched in the face. The song is great enough to get you thinking that, with better timing, Ida could have been bigger than Regina Spektor. Or at least the Moldy Peaches.
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