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neumu
Monday, September 1, 2014 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
Doug Martsch
recording
Now You Know
Warner Bros.
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Five seconds into Doug Martsch's solo debut, Now You Know, and it's obvious that this is his best work since 1997's Built to Spill album, Perfect From Now On. In the five years since that excellent work, Martsch and his band, Built to Spill, have become imprisoned by their Neil Young-esque, indie-by-way-of-classic-rock sound. To break free from those chains, Martsch has moved his soft gaze backwards — ironically, to the blues, a genre with roots in slavery.

Now You Know isn't what a purist would call a blues album. No, it's still distinctively Martsch. His high-pitched, gauzy warble does not jibe with the blues canon, perhaps with the sole exception of old LPs played at too fast a speed. And a cut like "Window," despite opening with guitar licks that would feel at home on a Carter Family album, could have easily appeared on BTS' There's Nothing Wrong With Love with its double-tracked vocals and soft, rapid melody.

Martsch's guitar playing fits perfectly with the slide-heavy country blues that he explores in songs like "Dream" and "Gone" on Now You Know. Going all the way back to his days with Treepeople, his extended guitar solos have always been classic rock-, and thus blues-, influenced. So in the album's gorgeous opener, "Offer," Martsch simply pares down his playing, using a slide to coax chiming notes from an acoustic rather than anthemic finger bends from his Stratocaster.

After the dull and all-too-predictable Ancient Melodies of the Future, Martsch's blues foray leaves him sounding completely revitalized. Even the pure BTS of "Heart (Things Never Shared)" is inspired in a way that his now-hiatusing band hasn't been in ages. By stripping away Built to Spill's recent albatross (excess), Martsch, a honky from Idaho, has found emancipation in the most surprising of places.


by Yancey Strickler




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