Showing posts with label kevin morby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kevin morby. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

video review: 'singing saw' by kevin morby

Well, so this sucked. I'm genuinely curious how people are going to respond to this review - it's a critically acclaimed release, but it's also a smaller one, so I have no idea how much of a response it's going to get one way or another.

Anyway, next up I've got a bunch of albums to get through before I cover Aesop Rock, so I might fit in Death Grips ahead of time... stay tuned!

album review: 'singing saw' by kevin morby

So I don't cover a lot of music from the indie folk rock scene - and believe it or not, I actually have a reason. Several reasons actually, the first being volume, because it seems like every other week I hear about a new up-and-coming indie folk songwriter that I need to hear and most don't really impress me. I used to define it as a general aversion to the 'white guy with acoustic guitar' subgenre, but it runs a little more complicated: when you strip down the sound to the bare essentials, those essentials all need to be great working order or the flaws stand out all the more. And yeah, part of it is the fact that when you've heard so much singer-songwriter music, your bar when it comes to compositions or lyrics tends to be quite high - and I'll be blunt and say that a lot of this material can get tedious or pretentious if the writing or instrumentation doesn't step up.

And those were a lot of the thoughts I had before looking to cover Kevin Morby, most notable as being the former bassist of indie rock band Woods before going solo in 2013. And when I checked out his two previous records to this... well, they have their moments, I guess. I was never really gripped much by the songwriting - it always felt a little too self-serving and lacking in storytelling chops, with none of the writing having any sort of flair or punch - but a lot of the production and composition was nice, and I always appreciated a commitment to solid mix balances. But it wasn't until the second album Still Life where I saw the long shadow of The National hanging over Kevin Morby, especially in the vocal production and the blend of alternative country and modern folk rock influences - and look, I love The National, but I don't need a sleepier version of a group that already has trouble with momentum.

That said, this record has been getting a suspicious amount of critical acclaim, so I figured what the hell and checked out Singing Saw - how did it go?