Album Review: Monsters Of Folk – Monsters Of Folk

September 26, 2009

Let it be, or whatever.

Concept: Conor Oberst uses his new label for an all-“star” shindig.

Sound: Not folk, so sorry. There is a wide range of Americana, which is honestly better unless you have a damn good lyricist/songwriter. Every member of the band could use some time to brainstorm and recover; My Morning Jacket hasn’t gained much from their obscenely self-deprecating funk rock exploits, and Bright Eyes has simply never been much more than a pile of soggy melodramas in a bean bag chair. This album was the right move for them by all counts. The album is a flattering gallery, moving from ambient soul to rock conventions to dusty spaghetti western crawls to bombastic country, and so on and so forth. With its opening and closing songs as two of the very strongest, the album feels complete in spite of some deep dead spots.

Lyrics: Business is good. My Morning Jacket have occasionally allowed themselves some adept songwriting, and tracks like Baby Boomer and The Sandman, The Brakeman, and Me invite multiple listens. Oberst’s lack of lyrical talent is not an issue. It seems working with new people has tempered his taste for moot morbidity, and he keeps it short and sweet.

Quick And Dirty: Of all the inter-group collaborative releases we’ve had this year, this one delivers best. (♦♦♦½)

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One Response to “Album Review: Monsters Of Folk – Monsters Of Folk”

  1. Colin C. said

    Sandman is kinda folky! i agree though that the other songs aren’t folk at all. It’s strange when you have an album that changes up the lead vocals so often. Its creates variation but it also lacks the cohesiveness that I personally look for in really great albums. the songs are definately pretty, although I question their substance and depth.

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