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Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son
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2014 release, the 11th album from the Indie singer/songwriter. Damien Jurado is every character in every Damien Jurado song. He is the gun, the purple anteater, the paper wings, the avalanche, the air show disaster, Ohio, the ghost of his best friend's wife. It is a universe unto its own, with its own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy. You might go as far as to call it a religion, and your religion is a character in his religion.
Top Customer Reviews
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!
Opener "The Magic Number" is jazzy and high on ghostly atmospherics. It grows on repeated listens and is a powerful start. It is the almost Latino rhythmic single "Silver Timothy" which really sets the ball rolling as great Jurado song is unveiled with sparkling guitar solo leading it to a suitable conclusion. Sadly "Return to Maraqopa" is a bit of slog on first listens although perseverance may pay dividends. Much better is the piano lament "Metallic Cloud" the first of a range of haunting slow songs where the album's highlights are contained. Indeed the last two songs "Silver Katherine" and "Silver Joy" return to the Damien Jurado of "Caught in trees" and are both sublime ballads. The simplicity of the latter echoes the laidback ambience of a song like "Ohio", and its pleading refrain of "Do not disturb, me let me be" is haunting.Read more ›
Since Saint Bartlett I have become more frustrated with Damien Jurado's albums, and Brothers and Sisters for ME is a step too far into 'space rock' etc.. It is a disjointed album - the best songs being Silver Katherine, Silver Joy & Silver Timothy which in my eyes are more Damien Jurado. At the end of the day it is his music and he does want he wants, Damien probably will increase his fan base which I can only wish him well. Before the comments start saying 'Damien cannot keep doing Ghost of David' all I can say is that is the beauty of Damien Jurado's songs that is exactly what he does not do. He can play raw acoustic songs and each album he brings something different to each album. I am talking about all albums before Saint Bartlett. Maybe he wants to explore, expand his sound and who am I to stand in his way. For me it does not work, Richard Swift I don't believe has made Damien's music any better, richer - it just sound more now like Fleet Foxes etc and he has taken the mystery away from Damien Jurado's music. Time for us both to move on, thanks for the memories Damien.
over-production only serves to obscure them.
A few points are worth making though.
Jurado's singing and songwriting post St Bartlett are as strong or stronger than they've ever been.
The best songs here match anything in his extensive back catalogue - Jericho, Silver Catharine, Metallic
Track down "Live At The Warehouse" online to hear how these songs can sound performed live and solo.
They'll blow the top of your head off. Jurado is one of those singers who needs an audience to give
him an edge, to really make him come alive.
Having heard how they should sound you can start to appreciate an album like this just for what it is. Let's
revisit my opening sentence. When songs are this strong it can be good to hear them in more than one
guise. DJ seems to tour and perform extensively. I guess it must be fun for him to hear how his songs
sound dressed up a bit for a change. I prefer them live, but I'm coming to love, or at least like them
this way too.
I found something similar with the previous album, Maraqopa. At first I found it flat and disappointing.
But having heard some of the songs live, and heard how good they are, I've been going back to the album
more and more, and coming to appreciate it more and more. Again, the best songs on there are pretty
much as good as it gets.
Mature work from a mature artist, and as such it deserves to be given a few second chances. I'm beginning
to get into it myself. That's why I'm dishing out 5 stars in the completely meaningless universe of Amazon
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the album, very cool retro sound, delighted to find it had a download code so I also have the MP3 files. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jacob Davis