"Brothers and sisters..." continues the recent vein of more soulful, atmospheric, 70ish sound that Richard Swift (producer and friend) has imbued. I have sympathies with one of the reviewers, who longs for the simplicity and rawness of Jurado's earlier albums - I too am a massive fan of his early songs.
I read an interview with Swift and Jurado, the former claiming that his earlier output did not reflect Jurado's true self...well, all I can rebuke is that he did an incredible job of conning me, who melted under the spell of his simple, gorgeous melodic tales of sorrow and heartbreak.
But back to the music and current album. As with most of Jurado's songs, it takes a few spins to fully appreciate their beauty, and although "Brothers and Sisters..." wouldn't make my top three DJ albums, it is still a worthy addition, with some magical moments. "Silver Timothy" and "Metallic Cloud" are stand-outs - making the most of Swift's clever production. "Silver Katherine" and "Silver Joy" harken back to earlier times - just Jurado and acoustic guitar. Indeed, there are no weak songs on the album. Jurado picks and strums; Santana-like bongo percussions, soaring strings, falsetto choruses and Swift adds spacey organ, vibes, piano and atmospheric clicks, bleeps and quirky sounds to fill the sound... a real alternative 70s pastiche, that mostly works. I (personally) would like a stronger vocal mix from Jurado in places.
Recent albums might polarise some fans - not quite a Dylan goes electric moment, but a gradual broadening of sound and experiment. Jurado will retain his cult appeal! However, it is still very much a Damien Jurado album and a 'very agreeable listen' with that. Swift and Jurado have created some elevating music, and doubtless will continue to do so.
Note: The Deluxe edition is well worth the extra expense. Eight fine live songs, mostly from this album, recorded in a reverby chapel with choir - raw, sparse, terrific!