I don?t know why, but the sound of pedal steel guitars gives me a feeling of comfort and home. So, the start of Mimi Secue?s third album on the small Austrian Karate Joe label grabbed me instantly. It kicks off with the instrumental title track that is a lot faster than everything Mimi Secue have done before. A motorik rhythm section sets the stage for some lovely piano playing, a plucked guitar and the before mentioned pedal steel. It?s used pretty subtly, but the effect is strong. I imagine neverending landscapes and a great loneliness.
The excellent second song ?Something Sometimes? continues in the same mood, this time also with singing by Christian Jurasovich. What Mimi Secue are incredibly good at is playing songs that end in minutes of harmonic interplay between their four members. On ?Something Sometimes? or ?Pilot?, the instrumental final of the song could go on for at least 15 minutes, if it was up to me. After five, respectively seven minutes those tunes are unfortunately over. The rest of ?Naila? can?t quite keep up with the skyhigh standard of the first two songs. It?s still really good though. I bet the band is tired of that comparison, but when listening to Mimi Secue, it?s almost impossible for me not to think of Low. Just like Low, Mimi Secue have a male and a female singer and their songs are mostly slow and melancholic. And how can you not think of Low when you hear heavily accentuated snare drums on the two and four combined with harmonic male and female singing like on Mimi Secue?s ?Farewell.?
?Naila? is not only a follow-up, but to be viewed in conjunction with Mimi Secue?s previous effort ?Forst.? Comparing the cover art of both albums, it seems like Mimi Secue want to clarify things. The two twin boys holding hands in front of white swans that were drawn on ?Forst? have now materialized as a photograph on ?Naila.? I?m not able to decipher the true meaning of this step. I wouldn?t see ?Naila? as the twin brother of ?Forst? for example. ?Forst? was a wide open affair, inviting the listener to delve into the expansive soundscapes they were creating over sometimes more than 10 minutes. ?Naila? on the other hand is more song-based and concise, which isn?t a bad thing considering the quality of Mimi Secue?s songwriting. Twin brothers or not, ?Naila? is a worthy successor to ?Forst?. Seen together, these two albums mark a giant step for Mimi Secue. 8/10 -- Stephan Bauer (28 June, 2006)