I’ve been under some peer pressure to love this album. Both K and K have slavvered over it and it comes with an 88 rating on Metacritic.com. Essentially it is the cognescenti’s album of the year so far. Add the fact that it is on the sublime Bella Union Record label and it can’t fail. Can it?
Yes, actually it can.
It’s a wee bit Midlakey (Even Mrs G spotted that) and a big bit My Morning Jacket.
The trouble is, despite its beautiful angst and moody reflectiveness, taught playing and good melodies something just isn’t clicking. Is it trying too hard I wonder? Is the lead singer’s oft falsetto voice too irritating? Is the overuse of echo by the production team trying to make it too ‘important’?
I think it’s the latter.
It suffers from kinda pompous production. Rather than making it a cosy, fireside, modern-day folk record it turns it into some sort of bombastic minimalism. (I know, that’s paradoxical but it’s true.)
The production, for me, sucks.
It’s a good enough record.
But album of the year?
No way Jose.