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Cover Art

Ashley Park ( )

The Secretariat Motor Hotel
Darling ( )
As a child, Vancouver musician Terry Miles must have been highly impressionable. When he recorded under the moniker Saturnhead, it was blatantly apparent that he was well-versed in Guided By Voices songology; not hard to notice considering the title of their 1997 LP Introducing Arizona’s Thin Mistake. That said, his records have always been filled to the brim with infectious hooks and melodies that work long after the song is over. The same can be said for The Secretariat Motor Hotel, the third Ashley Park full-length. This time, however, gone are the unwieldy and abstract titles, gone is the fuzzy lo-fi production. It seems that these days, Miles has been listening to cosmic-country pop outfit, Beachwood Sparks. And this is a wonderful thing. Like the best of the Beachwood Sparks’ material, The Secretariat Motor Hotel is full of warm country pop melodies that will tie knots in your heartstrings. It is a richly textured affair containing the best songs of Miles’ career, despite their likeness to those that came before. From the warm warbles of “Father Hill’s American Farm� to the charmingly Beatlesque “You’ll Be Lonesome Too,� The Secretariat Motor Hotel is consistent from start to finish. The drippingly sweet harmonies of Kelly Haigh complement Miles’ pop sensibilities as if they were meant to be together, most notably on “The Lonely Lights Of Home.� Recommended.

By Ryan Wugalter
Oct 7, 2003

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