Skip to main content

Featured Post

Air Fryer Sausage Balls

Air Fryer Sausage Balls are a perfect make-ahead breakfast that takes just a few minutes to cook in the Air Fryer. Mix up the Sausage Balls and store them uncooked in the freezer until you’re ready to cook them.



Phosphorescent - C’est La Vie Music Album Reviews

For his first album in five years, Matthew Houck puts fatherhood and a move to Nashville to good use on songs that are sly and wry and allow his voice to cut through intricate arrangements.

Maybe it was Pro Tools. Perhaps it was the post-Napster access explosion. Or it may have been the slow spread of Neutral Milk Hotel, Wilco, or even Bright Eyes. But at some point after the turn of the millenium, every block and every burgh seemed to sprout its own home-recording, achy-voiced strummer, ready to reorient their tunes with field recordings, hip-hop edits, swirling arrangements, Max/MSP processes, or a personal Wrecking Crew of session musicians. It was all personal and wonderful—or, sometimes, simply forgettable.

Matthew Houck emerged into into a moment seemingly glutted with often-bearded songwriters eager to deconstruct and expand themselves, from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon to Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam. Houck arrived with a thin but instantly recognizable creak, somewhere in the neighborhood of Will Oldham, and an Elephant 6 auteur’s sense of scope. For the past 15 years, Phosphorescent’s discography has pivoted among arrangement concepts for that voice, from the spare colors of his 2003 debut to the ambitious countrypolitan landscapes of 2013’s much-loved Muchacho. Houck’s tone and songs could disappear into his well-built, tasteful atmospheres. At least for me, Phosphorescent often fell safely in the realm of perhaps-incorrect stereotypes—enjoyable, but ultimately failing to stick.

But on C’est La Vie—the first Phosphorescent studio album in a half-decade and since Houck left Brooklyn for fatherhood in Nashville—his voice cuts through inventive settings with a confidence, clarity, and sensibility that can vividly and unexpectedly recall 1980s Paul Simon, minus the global beats and entitled boomerness. “New Birth in New England” bounces irresistibly, not too far removed from Vampire Weekend, either, but counterbalanced by Ricky Ray Jackson’s luminous pedal steel. Though nothing else on the album quite sounds like that first single (or hits the same giddiness), the Simon similarity runs deep. Houck’s narrator is often sly, wry, and conversational. “‘C’est la vie,’ she says/But I don’t know what she means,” he sings on the chorus of “C’est La Vie No.2.” Like Simon, Houck casts himself as a slightly befuddled subject, his internal monologues tumbling into melody.

As far removed from Phosphorescent’s bedroom folk days as Simon’s 1986 Graceland was from his singer-songwriter debut, C’est La Vie is a mirror of Houck’s own maturation, its similarities to Simon perhaps as structural as they are sonic. In places, it sounds like a late-30s check-in for Houck and his listeners, as “My Beautiful Boy” attests. The type of open-hearted daddom that might make a younger songwriter sneer (or blush), it floats on a cloud of gorgeous ambient percussion that keeps the arrangement from drifting into nebulous string-synths. Though Houck has relocated to Nashville, C’est La Vie’s most compelling music is perhaps its least C&W, finding new uses for all that pedal steel. Some of the album’s best moments are more Lambchop than George Jones, especially the vocoder-touched R&B float of “Christmas Down Under.” It would have been unthinkable on Houck’s earliest work.

Sometimes _C’est La Vie _is a bit too on-the-nose, much like 2010’s middle-of-the-road Here’s to Taking It Easy. “These Rocks” recalls Daniel Lanois’ work with Bob Dylan. Serving as a piece of late-album heaviness, with Houck condensing life’s battles into a refrain, the music seems to strain to match the gravity of the central lyric—“These rocks, they are heavy/Been carrying them around all my days.” But it does underscore the bittersweet, top-loaded sense of fun possessed by the rest of C’est La Vie, exemplified by the moment that Jackson’s pedal steel locks into the kosmische pulse of “Around the Horn.” The music suddenly soars beyond the land of songs. It’s the kind of turn on the kind of album that might even make a previously unimpressed listener reevaluate how Houck arrived here. Maybe it was Pro Tools. Or maybe it was daddom.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

2019 Lincoln Continental Review

If you’re tired of the same old luxury options, the 2019 Lincoln Continental provides a refreshingly retro-cool alternative.
The 2019 Lincoln Continental is a big, luxurious American sedan at a time when Americans are hardly buying big, luxurious American sedans anymore. Regardless, it’s a throwback ride with plenty of character, great value, lots of power, and a classic nameplate. We give it 7.5 out of 10 overall.
Among European and Japanese rivals with established models – S-Class, 7 Series, LS – this Lincoln stands out for several reasons, chief among them its nameplate. With the Continental, Lincoln has one of the most storied American car names.

Moto Z4 Play Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We investigate rumours surrounding the Moto Z4 Play, which could be announced in June 2019 with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Announced in June 2018, the Moto Z3 Play was never joined in the UK by the standard Moto Z3. It's possible that for the Z4 series we will again see only the Play model go on sale here, with the Moto Z4 Play expected to be announced in the UK in mid-2019.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Best kids' Tablets 2019

If you want to buy your child a tablet, here are the best and the most affordable out there to ensure they get the most suitable tablet for their age By Simon Jary | 02 Jan 2019

Like Fan Page