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Here comes the ex Galaxie 500 frontman with a new album. I wonder if they get offered big money on the table to reform. Probably.
Anyway he seems happy to do his own thing these days and in tandem with producer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) he has produced a much more upbeat set of songs this time. Opener ‘The Dancer Disappears’ is positively sprightly, its sparkling indie-pop sounds something like Grant Mclennan of The Go-Betweens fronting The Field Mice which sounds like a very nice thing indeed. ‘Beat the Devil’ is a slower affair but its soothing organ and warm vocal make it very easy on the ear. It sounds not unlike something Daniel Johnston might come up with. The ghost of Galaxie 500 is never far away and ‘Heartless People’ harks back to their simple 3 chord twinkling affairs.
The new-found confidence is everywhere on this record, some listeners who are used to his slower affairs might be taken aback by tracks like ‘I Can Only Give My All’ with its swirl of distortion and hints of solo Bob Mould in the melodies. Closer ‘Happy and Free’ is even a little (dare I say) Springsteen-ish though ‘Babes in the Wood’ is much more like his older work with a certain gospel-ish, Spiritualized like feel.
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