Merge Records – LP-CD-DL
Fighting Boredom’s Adrian Bloxham reviews the new album by the Archers of Loaf front man, it’s a starkly honest raw record and we liked it a lot.
The thing that gets you is the voice, it has a classic sounding American underground soulful sound that would have, and indeed has, sounded perfect over the top of loud guitar and drums. Yet has transcended that with the gentle music it sings over here. The way the stories are told is patient, slow and emotional. It’s an album for the lost and heartbroken, the old and forgiving. It’s a reflection on how life is right now for Eric Bachmann and the fact that he is sharing it all with us feels like an unexpected bonus.
It’s a very American album, the sound is big and wide, it all echoes and surrounds the voice. It goes from the melancholy Country tinged Belong to You to the quiet and delicate Masters of the Deal. I’d go far as to say that Separation Flight starts with a homage to the classics harmonies of the Beach Boys and then Eric seems to be channelling the spirit of Journey with his vocal, but it works!
My favourites are the moments when fifties doo wop and sixties girl backing singers are brought into the mix, the best song on the album is the wonderful Mercy which is a Wall of Sound tinged slice of perfection.
Not a loud album and not an upbeat happy summer slice of sunshine. What you have here is a piece of Americana, a reflection on life and love, and I really think you should be listening to it.
All words by Adrian Bloxham.