14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Stripped-down, introspective magic,
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This review is from: The Creek Drank The Cradle (Audio CD)
Interestingly, Sub Pop seem to be reinventing themselves from label of all things grunge-rock to a new, mellow, "two guitars on the front porch " affair. But then, Sub Pop were always one step head of the game. This collection of songs by Sam Beam consists of stripped down, acoustic guitar affairs, with slide guitar and banjo making an appearance to add extra layers of mystery. It's a million miles away from the noisy excesses of grunge, and very special.
Beam sings laconically, as though he's half asleep, in a voice reminiscent of the more fragile moments from Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. In fact, these songs would have slotted seamlessly onto the more lo-fi moments of 'Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot,' Sparklehorse's excellent first album. No drums, just guitar and hushed vocals. Some strange magic is at work here - this is excellent, intimate stuff, transporting you to a mythical part of America in the same way as Gillian Welch's 'Time (The Revelator)' - timeless, haunting, and magical. Beam crafts songs that dig at the twisted heart of middle America; disturbing, but wonderfully well-drawn portraits of small-town life. This will be up there in the "2003 album of the year" stakes for sure.