Friday, November 19, 2010

UPPER AIR - Bowerbirds (2009)

Comprised of guitarist/songwriter/singer Phil Moore, his girlfriend/singer/accordianist Beth Tacular and producer/mutli-instrumentalist Mark Paulson, Bowerbirds produce a streamlined, spare variation on the beard folk that's been very much in vogue on the indie circuit this back half of the Aughts.

Upper Air, their second release, is a more finely honed and consistent affair than debut Hymns For A Dark Horse, but retains the band's core appeal...simple, rustic, positive folk propelled by Moore's powerful acoustic guitar and Moore and Tacular's beautiful, wistful harmonies.

It's an inviting sound, if not quite as impressive or transcendent as that of friends/contemporaries Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes. 

My one quibble with this album is while most of the tracks get off to a great start, and are consistent throughout, few if any build musically or emotionally beyond the first verse/chorus.  A more anthemic approach on a couple of these tracks would have done wonders to improve the album's overall dynamics and appeal

Still, there's a number of winning songs here, and for fans of this style of contemporary folk, this is a fine, if never spectacular, listen.

Status: Mild Recommend

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: Teeth, Ghost Life, Chimes, Crooked Lust.

Here's a live version of Teeth the presents a very clear rendition of Bowerbirds sound!

Component Breakdown:
2. Teeth - 7
5. Ghost Life - 7
6. Northern Lights - 6
7. Chimes - 7
10. This Day - 6

To Listen, Download, or Buy a Vinyl or CD Hardcopy, 
Click On the Widget Below.

Please feel free to add your own comments on Bowerbirds' Upper Air!

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