True to form, Azure Ray delivers another 12 tracks of curiously beautiful but quite intense melancholy on 2002's Burn and Shiver. Not since Lisa Germano dropped Geek the Girl almost eight years before has music so stark and so lovely made it beyond the dark confines of somebody's troubled mind and onto the brightly lit shelves of record stores. Well, "troubled" might be too harsh a word, as Azure Ray never approach the outwardly depressive lyrical statements of Germano on Burn and Shiver, but Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor do have a certain fascination with darkness. Just as publicized, these two musicians demonstrate a knack for finding an emotional sweet spot with their dreamy harmonies, releasing any and all tension built by their down-tempo musings. The opening cut, "Favorite Cities," and the thrilling "How You Remember" are both prime examples of this dichotomy that is almost the duo's signature. Azure Ray would rate high on anybody's mope-core scale, but listeners hoping to drown themselves in despondence should be aware of the warmth that exists just beneath the surface of Burn and Shiver. ~ Vincent Jeffries, Rovi

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