On Vile’s first album on Matador, he sounds as if he’s trying to imitate Iggy Pop, if Iggy was a folk singer. Vile is very good at that too, he has Iggy down pretty well, and he is an excellent amplified acoustic guitar player who uses various effects such as reverb nicely. It is just Vile and a guitar on most of these tracks.
The two best tracks are the ones where he is himself, and not Iggy. “Blackberry Song” is with a full band, and is a true pop song with a hummable melody and drums that skip along to the music happily. Vile sings without affect, a relief. The album’s one big flaw is that he mumbles his lyrucs.
“Inside Looking Out” is a true folk song. Vile sounds like himself here, too, it's also the best of the one man band songs. To sum up, two great songs, the rest good, and an album that hints at much good music to be made in the future. [www.myspace.com/kurtvileofphilly]
The Mountain Goats
The Life of the World to Come
4 AD Records
The nicely melodic, sometimes happy folk pop of this album is at odds with the grim lyrics about losing faith, death, being too depressed about not having faith, and wanting escape from a dull, meaningless life. But is John Darnielle writing about his own life, or creating fiction?
Darnielle keeps his cards close to his vest on the answer to this question, which is good, as it opens up the lyrics to interpretation. These songs are named after various Bible verses, trying to match the verses to the songs provides little clarity. The music is good to hum to, the music sticks around long after the album is finished, and lyrics to ponder.
XXYoung Turk/XL Recordings
This soft-spoken, fragile, slow indie rock collapses under it’s own weight, which is light, by the end of the album. Lyrically, it’s a couple trying desperately to decide if they want to become romantically involved. In the end, this is melodramatic silliness, which is more than enough of a reason to skip this album. [www.myspace.com/thexx]
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