Short but sweet (usually) mentions of Mountains.
The lead singer/guitarist of helium gets renaissance faire on our ass, and eschews ye olde poste punke for angular, mystical, keyboard-driven prog rock. it makes us wonder: could female rush fans exist after all?
From the May 2000 issue of Details, in the “Don’t Miss” Section
Timony is the witchy woman behind Boston’s Helium; the group’s last record Magic City sounded as if it was dreamed up between back-to-back Magic: The Gathering fantasy-game sessions. Mountains likely owes its genesis to similar inspirations, or maybe those priceline.com ads with William Shatner came to bear on it.
Taken from VH1’s reviews online
From Twin Cities’ City Search
The undeniably sweet voice behind the Boston-based indie rock trio Helium, Mary Timony, once sang about witches, dragons and unicorns on Helium’s much acclaimed 1997 “The Magic City.” Fantasy has crept in and out Timony’s imagery—revealing the playful and imaginative inner child behind her lyrics and unusual guitar bliss. But,steps into her solo career, first conquering a bit of stage-fright, to release debut “Mountains,” (which was partly recorded in Chicago) Timony surprisingly earned the Beavis and Butt-Head seal of approval, “This chick is cool!” (which she says was painful to watch). But, unlike one-time Matador labelmate Liz Phair, she does not play the role of the angry-grrrly piper. She prefers things ethereal and often acoustic, rendering harmonies with surrealist guitar, piano, harpsichord and viola. Locals pop prince and princess Sean Na Na and Jan open. —Lauren Drell
From Twin Cities’ City Search
Mary Timony of the band Helium is back, striking out with a solo album, Mountains, that may be considered her most comprehensive work since Helium’s last record, 1997’s the Magic City . In fact, perhaps that title would be more apt for this album, as each song is so rooted in its own specific, fantastical geography [budding cartographers and Tolkien fans, take note]. The songs on this record are darker, more emotionally intense than those of the Magic City. There are no catchy tunes on this album, nothing you’ll have the urge to belt out to your co-workers or rage to in your room, yet by no means are these songs feeble. Timony pulls your head underwater and doesn’t let it up until she’s through. Beware of the undertow.
from the Spring 2000 Bust #14 issue
MARY TIMONY Mountains – Matador Mary Timony’s solo debut continues in the vein of Helium’s 1997 album The Magic City, which may have trafficked a little too much in medieval loopiness for most. But if you’re open to an album that – using not much more than an old piano, her trademark off-kilter guitar playing, strings and the occasional wash of vintage synths – approximates the sound of theVelvet Underground waiting not for the man but for the Lord Of The Ring, then Mountains is for you. The best track is “I Fire Myself,” in which Timony proves herself again to be one of the kookiest, most assured rock-and-rollers around. Who else can sing melodramatic Opheliaisms such as “I throw myself in a watery grave” and “Pilgrims beside me just talk, talk, talk” but come off sounding like some knowing, smart-ass new wave siren?
From the pages of the CMJ New Music Report, Issue: 656 – Mar 6, 2000
“There’s too much darkness inside of me,” indie-rock siren Mary Timony intones on “The Dungeon Dance”, a track from her solo album, Mountains . Timony first made noise leading the Boston band Helium; on her foray alone, her detached, baby-doll voice broods like a caged bird that can’t live without its prison. Over Pixies-ish guitar jags and haunting strings, she draws the listener into sonically weaving, dimly lit backstreets.
From Best of the Month in Elle Magazine, December or January 1999/2000 issue.
Mary Timony, Mountains (Matador). At first this sounded like a letdown from the fuller soundscapes on the last Helium release, The Magic City. But if anything, Timony’s gotten deeper into the imagery that fueled that album; these ghosts and dragons seem to come from the world she actually lives in. For all their ethereal beauty, the songs here have no want of dark mystery between the lines.
Taken from the Boston Phoenix’s Cellar’s Starlight-Top Picks of the Year (2000) By Brett Milano
The rainbows, the unicorns, the fascination with all things mystical — think of Timony as indieville’s answer to Stevie Nicks, without the flowing scarves and witchy hair. On her debut solo outing, the enchanting Helium singer gets all magical about dungeons and dragons. She never breaks out of the monotonous tone that follows her through this stroll of neverland, and that certainly weighs down this bulky set of songs. But she keeps the theatrics to a minimum, something unfathomable to coven sister Nicks.
from the Illinois Entertainer