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Becoming a Jackal (2010) , 6.5/10

Villagers, the solo project of Irish singer-songwriter and drummer Conor O'Brien, formerly half of the Immediate (with David Hedderman) that released In Tower & Clouds (Fantastic Plastic, 2006), debuted with Becoming a Jackal (Domino, 2010). O'Brien displays a sincere and profound soul, and some Robert Wyatt-ian dizziness in I Saw The Dead, a hymn enveloped in strings while piano and drums seem to play two different tunes. He specializes in quaint reinventions of Mersey-beat tunefulness (Becoming a Jackal) and Burt Bacharach-esque pop (Home). In order to tell his stories with maximum pathos, he elegantly mixes gospel and country in the tender The Pact and deconstructs falsetto soul music in the insane crescendo of Pieces. A completely different singer takes on the fragile wails of The Meaning Of The Ritual (with strings and horns swelling and fading gracefully) and the martial Neil Young-ian elegy Twenty-Seven Strangers. To Be Counted Among Men Despite the uneven material, this album established O'Brien as one of the most accomplished one-man bands of his generation. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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