Nels Cline, Lovers (Blue Note)
To me, it seemed the advance word on this got shakier and shakier. Given Blue Notes’s modern weakness for pretty crossover moves on occasion, and it was “orchestral” (or at least featured a lotta strings), and pretty melodies were highlighted … it was almost like this was doomed to be too often syrupy and sluggish.
The double disc starts out a shade snoozy (careful when the first track is “Introduction/Diaphanous”) but by the time you get to a tartish version of “Cry, Want” and a twisted-smartie treatment of Gabor Szabo’s “Lady Gabor,” you know this is a reflective-dream soundtrack, not background. The ultraviolet-radiation treatment of Sonic Youth’s “Snare, Girl” is an innate marvel that waited to be revealed.