Cass McCombs is now established as a songwriter of the highest order. Mangy Love is lyrically his darkest record yet, all seen with his uniquely aware and often humorous eye. Musically it’s experimental soul, warped psychedelia, rock, hip-hop and beat poetry that shapes the album's upbeat and immediate sound. Guests include Angel Olsen and Blake Mills. Mangy Love was produced by Rob Schnapf.
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- 8714092744538 / Limited RED + BLACK mixed colour vinyl 2LP on Anti
- Includes download code
1 review. Add your own review.
I don’t know what it is with Cass McCombs. I own and enjoy several of his records yet when he releases a new one I’m not all that bothered and as I place the needle on his latest opus I am somehow surprised that it sounds really good. I should know this by now to trust him but there’s something about Cass that I just take for granted.
This is his first record for Anti and as usual McCombs comes up with pleasing results without knocking your hat clean off. Opener ‘Bum Bum Bum’ chooses the oddest title out of any of the words he sings in the song which is a pleasant drift through Red House Painters territory. This smooth sound contrasts somewhat with the bluesy sludge of ‘Rancid Girl’, it’s a shame as this track destroys the laid back mood completely being a simplistic composition that is totally at odds with the rest of the material. Otherwise there seems to be an extra sheen about McCombs here, ‘Opposite House’ has an almost soft rock feel with smooth synths brushing over the delicate guitar figures, there’s something about this lush orchestration that relegates McCombs voice to a background instrument and so the dark words we are promised don’t quite filter through the way you’d maybe want them to certainly on the first couple of spins.
On ‘Medusa’s Outhouse’ McCombs uses the Al Green - aping falsetto Kurt Wagner used on Lambchop’s ’Nixon’ yielding very similar effective results. It’s an easy-listen hi end album full of interesting, entertaining songs and lyrical twists and turns but I feel like the rich production dampens down some of McCombs personality - ‘In a Chinese Alley’ is pure Knopfler - but the Smog like closer ‘I’m A Shoe’ returns to the bleak lyrical territory of his dirge like masterpiece ‘Wits End’.
Elsewhere though he sounds happy enough with his lot and his music has never sounded so lush and textured.
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