12 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Put in a Montreal recording studio with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, Bruce Cawdron of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, and others, Vic Chesnutt devises some of his career’s most inspired music. Not since his earliest days has he sounded so perfectly engaged. "Warm" starts as a gentle acoustic prelude for the modest-yet-grand power of "Glossolalia," which climaxes with a wordless wail. The musicians backing Chesnutt are flexible and ego-free, giving his lyrics appropriate settings without insisting on gratuitous solo spots and often leaving the music spare. "Everything I Say" builds into a vortex of distortion. With black humor, "You Are Never Alone" insists that all means of coping are valid, whether it be abortion, the Bible, or prescription drugs. Chesnutt's exquisite ability to tease a lyric’s meaning with a twist of a syllable turns songs such as "Wallace Stevens," "Rustic City Fathers,” and "Marathon" into music that belongs to no simple genre, except transcendence. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Put in a Montreal recording studio with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, Bruce Cawdron of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, and others, Vic Chesnutt devises some of his career’s most inspired music. Not since his earliest days has he sounded so perfectly engaged. "Warm" starts as a gentle acoustic prelude for the modest-yet-grand power of "Glossolalia," which climaxes with a wordless wail. The musicians backing Chesnutt are flexible and ego-free, giving his lyrics appropriate settings without insisting on gratuitous solo spots and often leaving the music spare. "Everything I Say" builds into a vortex of distortion. With black humor, "You Are Never Alone" insists that all means of coping are valid, whether it be abortion, the Bible, or prescription drugs. Chesnutt's exquisite ability to tease a lyric’s meaning with a twist of a syllable turns songs such as "Wallace Stevens," "Rustic City Fathers,” and "Marathon" into music that belongs to no simple genre, except transcendence. 

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