Sunday, June 05, 2011

David Bazan's new album is NOT Worth It.

No slouch.

In a disappointing discovery, recording an album with a post-punk power trio and minimal overdubs does not yield much sonic variety. If you go less for sonic variety and more for good lyrics than I do, your opinion may differ. From my PopMatters review:

Unfortunately, the album’s sound is sometimes so constricted that the songs can’t breathe. Gone are the thick synths and pedal steel of Bazan’s last album, Curse Your BranchesStrange Negotiations’ only sonic advantage is that Bazan isn’t drumming anymore. (He’s a little stiff.) Occasionally the band warms up their sound with a synth line, as on “Messes”; more often they simply sit back and play the songs. When they hit a locomotive groove like “Wolves at the Door”, they sound unstoppable. But when their groove sounds more like Aimee Mann, as on the colorless title track, they seem to be grinding to a halt.

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