This oddly lush instrumental outing by Athens, Georgia's Japancakes finds itself a natatorial hybrid of country rock and cosmipop. If it doesn't hit me where I live, it will find me on some lackadaisical Sunday when I have no particular care in the world, primed for a paradoxically watery pedal steel drift to some extraterrestrial realm. If that all sounds a bit vague and oxymoronic, it's pointedly so. The elements here are difficult to adjoin with any logical certitude. The most alluring thing about Japancakes is that once you think you have an absolute hold on what they are, they gracefully duck and tilt toward some other direction sans contrivance. Fluid? Well, fuck yeah. The band is both winged and gilled and pull off their thang with such elan as to occasionally leave you a tad breathless.
?If I Could See Dallas? is a welcome reissue by Darla. We're glad they decided to do it. Andy Baker's excellent engineering brings out all the component sounds of this gracious and melodic music with great balance, whether they be strings or synths, creating an enviable and complete pre-post/post-pre retroglaze sound, ofttimes ecstatic and beguiling, while at other times achieving a nearly impossible icily romantic plateau. Honestly, the attention to melody at work here is precise, rather invigorating, offering plenty of swoon and heart. At the risk of being ad hominem, you know what I mean... Nice work aplenty. 7/10 -- P. Somniferum (18 March, 2008)