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neumu
Sunday, November 23, 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
Lou Barlow
recording
Emoh
Merge
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Lou Barlow's struggled mightily this millennium, the once-revered songsmith mired in mediocre makeovers of Sebadoh and the Folk Implosion, bringing back both bands, after their initial deaths, to try and ride a few more miles on a pair of dead horses. With Bakesale recently clocking up its 10-year-anniversary — a high-school reunion that made many folks (like, oh, y'know, me) feel mighty old — it's been a long, long, long time since Barlow was on song. The most charming, moving, and probably best disc in this whole Sebadoh/Sentridoh/Folk Implosion/etc. canon (the live album, Lou Barlow Plays Waterfront, recorded in Sydney and issued in friends-and-family amounts by Spunk records way back in said day) is now coming up on its own nine-year anniversary. The fact that an impromptu live disc is Barlow's magnum opus says a lot about both songsmith and music-biz, the sincere simplicity that was his best quality getting lost amidst the sales-cognizant cynicism of the Folk Implosion and The Sebadoh. Now, with Emoh, the 38-year-old artist has come far enough to have come artistic full-circle. With his days as major-label unit-shifter vanished from pop-culture's goldfish memory, his first official solo album is on hand to remind us of what once made Barlow great. Centered on Lonesome Lou on an acoustic guitar, the disc leaves the songsmith's tunes, from the openly sentimental to the romantic, ragged, and smart-ass, largely unadorned, with the various bits of added instrumentage — strings, electric guitar, keys, rare drums — all gently gathered around that basic singer/songwriter backbone. And, as far as songs go, Barlow hasn't been this good in years. "Mary," in particular, is a hilarious pop song set to a rather natty melody, the tongue-in-cheek tale being told by a narrator who, after getting up to some on-the-side action with Mary, watches her turn around and tell the world it was an "immaculate conception." Barlow, however, deftly steers such comedy away from novelty-song territory with this simple, sweethearted refrain: "Mary, Mary, under veil of stars/ You changed the world, but you broke my heart." Speaking of such, it's no surprise that, across the album, it's the sad songs that end up saying so much. And the quartet of "Puzzle," "Imagined Life," "Monkey Begun," and "Legendary" all touch on touching profundity, Barlow wearing his sadsack sentiments and pithy observations on his sleeve; gently singing angsty outpourings to, and tales of domesticity fro, the emo(h) of his title really spelling Home in reverse, the meaning meaningful no matter which direction you read it.


by Anthony Carew




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