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sparse and homely beauty,
This review is from: GHOST OF DAVID (Audio CD)
Throughout this album Damien Jurado appears to be making every effort to avoid being heard. When Sparklehorse do a similar thing the results are often utterly frustrating as good songs always seem to be going on just out of ears' reach. But here the stop-start vocals, shifting volumes, guest singers and down-right cheap recording equipment only serve to give the whole a sparse and homely beauty. These songs are so un-elaborate you almost feel like you're playing the instruments yourself.
They're miserable all right: 'Medication' is a plea to God to end the life of a brother who has lost his mind; 'Tonight I Will Retire' is the confession of one about to commit suicide; 'December' tells of a man who froze to death in a stranded car. But this clearly isn't a case of being miserable to be fashionable. Ghost of David is intensely personal introspection set to a simple, but stirring, background. And when Jurado does his vocal disappearing act he is replaced by perfectly positioned telephone conversation recordings, minimalist synthesiser codas and, at the end of it all, an unanswered telephone ringing one or two times longer than you would expect. Quiet genius.