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- Oh My God Charlie Darwin by The Low Anthem
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7/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 20th May 2016
The Low Anthem mostly make beautiful music that floats around the Americana/alt. country/indie-folk genres. Gentle melodies and harmonies are the order of the day on their third album “Oh My God Charlie Darwin”. “To Ohio” is a prime example of their sound, and a great song to boot.
On “Ticket Taker” they borrow a trick from Sparklehorse by using a cheap microphone to record the vocal. Sonically, therefore, it sounds similar, as does “Don’t Tremble” but they lack Mark Linkous’ lyrical prowess. The lyrics are, well, normal, for want of a better word. On “The Horizon Is A Beltway” and “Home I’ll Never Be” – two tracks that a virtually indistinguishable, they ape Tom Waits….but not very well. I’d rather these tracks were left in the studio. Order is restored however, with “Cage The Songbird” – gentle harmonies and melodies – what they do best. “Champion Angel” and “Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around” have a poor man’s My Morning Jacket sound, whilst “Ghost Who Write The History Books” again returns to what they do best.
I find this album frustrating as it has plenty of good bits but when they stray away from that it comes across as poor pastiche of something better. Still, the good stuff is very good.
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