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Muchacho [CD]

Phosphorescent Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 8.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Phosphorescent live at St Pancras Old Church


Nearly three years on from his breakthrough album Here's To Taking It Easy, Phosphorescent returns to the fray with his most stunning record yet: Muchacho . During the last album's 'cycle', one could almost hear jaws hitting the floor witnessing a live band of such infinite verve. Not only did the album draw high praise in the form of Mojo's 'Album of the Month' (#8 ... Read more in Amazon's Phosphorescent Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Mar 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: DEAD OCEANS
  • ASIN: B00AYR2FQ6
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sun, Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction)
2. Song For Zula
3. Ride On / Right On
4. Terror In The Canyons (The Wounded Master)
5. A Charm / A Blade
6. Muchacho's Tune
7. A New Anhedonia
8. The Quotidian Beasts
9. Down To Go
10. Sun's Arising (A Koan, An Exit)

Product Description

BBC Review

Matthew Houck’s sixth album as Phosphorescent underwent an odd, protracted gestation.

Exhausted following a lengthy stint touring 2010’s acclaimed Here’s to Taking It Easy, the Alabama-born singer-songwriter returned to Brooklyn and bought a bunch of old analogue gear.

Duly equipped, he began cooking up “strange sound pieces”. “I was thinking I might make an ambient record that had vocals, but no lyrics,” he says of this period.

A sudden, unexplained domestic crisis forced his hand, however, leading to an impulsive trip down to Mexico’s Yucután peninsula in the opening months of 2012.

He spent a week there, living in a beach hut and working on his songs, before returning to New York and restoring some sense of order to his life.

At its best Muchacho reflects this yearning for tranquillity, offering the listener a window into Houck’s fuzzy and bruised yet generally hopeful mindset.

Song for Zula is a remarkable thing. Coasting on soft, electronic beats and programmed strings, Houck imparts a devastating clutch of verses that undermine the notion of love as something transcendent and divine.

Instead, he paints it “a caging thing ... a killer come to call from some awful dream”. A sense of the hurt it was presumably born out of lingers strong, completely at odds with the music it rests upon. The effect is mesmerising.

Songs like Ride On / Right On and A Charm / A Blade don’t fare quite so well. The former is built around a two-note riff and an insouciant, yelping vocal that is especially jarring in the wake of something like Song for Zula, while the latter lapses into classic rock cliché just a little too wholeheartedly.

Yet Muchacho’s Tune is as frank and lovely a promise of redemption as you’re likely to hear all year. Weighty, elegant music is a more natural fit for Houck, as songs like this and A New Anhedonia emphatically confirm.

Over the back-end of the LP he heads deeper into this kind of sweeping territory, brushing aside earlier missteps. Muchacho is a vibrant, evocative LP, and a welcome addition to the Phosphorescent catalogue.

--James Skinner

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Product Description


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting, beautiful and intelligent album 18 Mar 2013
Format:MP3 Download
I came to this album as a Phosphorescent novice on the recommendation of a friend. I have plainly been missing out by not hearing him sooner.

I'm not in a position to compare this to other Phosphorescent albums, but I think Muchacho is a very good album indeed, with thoughtful, haunting and intelligent songs, beautifully arranged and - in their idiosyncratic way - very well sung. The instrumental backing is rich, electronic and very beautiful. There is a mixture of the mournful and the hopeful here, and a mixture of styles, too, held together by the slightly cracked, mixed-back and multi-tracked vocals which I found very expressive and affecting.

I think that there are some things about this album which remind me of Leonard Cohen. Now, I know it sounds absolutely nothing like a Cohen album, but Matthew Houck has the same ability to write a straightforward but lovely tune and to put things into extremely evocative, sometimes elusive words. The brilliant Muchacho's Tune is a good example - haunting, self-excoriating and in search of redemption. I don't want to push the comparison too far because things like the vocals and overall sound here and on Old Ideas, for example, couldn't be more different but I do think he shares some of Cohen's genius for conjuring insight and feeling in a song. I mean that as the highest praise.

This was a surprising and delightful discovery for me, and I'm now off to seek out some of Phosphorescent's other work. It's a really fine album and warmly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful soaring melodies 15 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The only reason I bought this cd was because there was a phosphorescent track on a free cd that I bought with a music mag. Loved the track so much, bought the cd. Glad I did, it is absolutely brilliant. Buy it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phosphorescent - Pedal Steel Electronica 18 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD
Up until now Matthew Houck the guiding light behind the Phosphorescent moniker has specialised in warm slices of road weary Americana not least 2010's rollicking "Here's to taking it easy" and of course his earlier tribute to a great country outlaw "To Willie". There has always been in Houck however an inner Neil Young screaming to experiment and push the envelope. On "Taking it easy" hidden amongst the country rumble was "Los Angeles" a huge rolling beast of a song which really was a meeting of rustic Alabama and experimental Brooklyn combining Houck's own geographical journey from rural to urban. His new album "Muchacho" plays a different card derived from Houck's decamp to Mexico following relentess touring and exhaustion. The restless troubadour has therefore incorporated for the first time electronica in a big way into his songs and packed them full of undulating synthesiser arpeggios not least the opening shot of "Sun Arise - an invocation, an introduction" a sort of Fleet Foxes hymnal meets Aphex Twin oceanic beats and bass lines. The album is bookended by its counterpart "Sun's Arising "A Koan, an exit" essentially the same track but slightly more acoustic. If you love spiritual harmony tunes then this will push all your buttons but frankly for this reviewer one bite of this particular cherry was already pushing it and the second portion created musical indigestion. Much better is the splendid signature track from the album "Song for Zula". Here the combination of Houck's reedy voice and slabs of synth combine in a great song underpinned by soaring pedal steel. Everything is in its right place on this track and it should be the immediate target for a download. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best yet 11 May 2013
Format:Audio CD
Matthew Haouck delivers a beautifully crafted album from start to finish. Filled with gentle layers of guitar, drums and synth topped off with his amazing voice. An album crafted for Sunday mornings. A highlight of the year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amar al Muchacho 23 April 2013
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
Slow burn it may be but it's a thing of beauty just the same. What record players were made for. Buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Song for Zuma is haunting 9 April 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another I bought off the strength of a track on the Uncut cover CD and it didnt disappoint. Buy this if you like Mercury Rev, the Low Anthem etc.,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful album 2 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love this album, beautiful lyrics and he has an amazing voice. Recommended to me by a friend. Love it
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5.0 out of 5 stars a caging thing 13 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
this was a revelation of last year;one of the few records in the lists of best of the year that I think deserved the honor;the music feels like dragging you in, lets you lie down and get warm inside, dream;powerful and original
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content very average recording
Sadly the recording is flat and lifeless (like many modern recordings - probably compressed to death). Some decent tracks for the car but not for the recording quality.
Published 2 months ago by A. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Never heard of these until Green Man Festival 2013. Not that I actually went to see them - only read about how good they were on the forums after the festival. Read more
Published 3 months ago by The Old Dead Pig
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album
I was recommended this album just before Christmas. It gripped me on a first listen. It sounded fresh, haunting, great voice, great music. Read more
Published 3 months ago by friendl70s
5.0 out of 5 stars My New Favorite Band
My new very very favorite band, love it! I'd highly recommend this album or anything by this band to anyone
Published 5 months ago by magsy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Alternative/Indie Folk artist's unique and fascinating sixth album
American Lo-Fi Indie Rock act Phosphorescent (a.k.a. Matthew Houck) released his sixth studio album, Muchacho, to widespread critical acclaim. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Volt & Volume
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this!
Amazing fabulous album. Track 2 is one of the most beautiful tracks I have ever heard in my life. Beautiful
Published 6 months ago by Claire Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Brilliant brilliant album full of excellent songs with "Song for Zula" and "Ride On, Right On" alone being good enough to justify buying it.
Published 8 months ago by C. Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars delicious
phosphorescent is one of my fave group since their cd "pride", saw them live about 2 years ago. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ronald Perz
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb album.
Superb. Bought it on a recommendation of a friend and it's one of those rare albums that come along every few years or so, out of the blue and blows you away.
Published 11 months ago by Max.Ohagan111
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