Let me say first of all that I am a big fan of the first two Girls albums and Mr Owens's voice and songwriting talents so I really wanted to like this album but I'm afraid I was disappointed - it just didn't do it for me. If you're thinking of buying this because you liked the Girls sound/vibe then you may be disappointed too. Dare I say that much as C.O may have had his reasons for splitting with Girls bandmate and producer JR White, this record is apparently sorely missing his influence, in my opinion.
This may be in part due to the fact that the songs are liberally slathered in saxophone and flute, two instruments which I personally loathe. A disastrous production decision in my opinion. If this is what Girls would have sounded like from the start without JR then I'd bet none of us would ever have heard of them. Gone are the woozy, bi-polar peaks and troughs and bilious burned-out energy in favour of insipid jazz-lite muso noodling.
If Mr Owens had only ditched the band and played these songs un-accompanied, simply voice and guitar, then this might have been an epic album (hence the 3 stars). There are the seeds of wonderful songs here, broken lovesongs from a wounded heart, but the production and arrangements render them sadly impotent.
Perhaps this album will appeal to those who found Girls too challenging or alienating, and C.O will become a huge star, in which case I wish him good luck. My guess would be that there's a lot of hype around this record right now because it's coming off the back of his hot former band, but once the dust settles no-one will care much about this album.
I will be listening out for the next one, as I'm sure this is an artist with a lot yet to give, but with so much great music to listen to and so little time, I can't see me getting this album down off the shelf again. Disappointed but optimistic.