Voxtrot album review

Just downloaded the self-titled debut album from the next big thing out of Austin. From the opening track, “Introduction”, the long play album differs from their previous EP’s (“Raised By Wolves” and “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives) in a few ways. The overall tone of the album is very subdued (which is fine, considering that they sound like an American band channeling Britpop). There’s nothing as carefree as “The Start of Something”. Strings dominate several songs, including the aforementioned “Introduction”, and “Ghost”. Recollections of broken relationships are everywhere:

From “Kid Gloves“:

Everytime I close my eyes I see you in front of me
Prentending in a love like this
I have no choice but to put you in back of me
Don’t cover my footsteps
Dead weight alright, I know you’re no good for me
Dead weight alright, I know you’re no righteous leader
Dead weight alright, that’s fine but get your hands off me
You have to touch me with kid gloves
You have to touch me with kid gloves

From “Ghost” (which swirls at the outset with an urgent push from the piano, guitar, bass and strings):

I have no choice but to be vicious on my feet
I never sleep
I never eat
I am learning how to be lost completetly
I want to be found
We crave the things we push away
These patterns cut like every day
I need you to reach
I need you to need me

& the bridge/last verse:

I don’t ever want to be alone like this
Haunted by the presence by of the things I miss
I don’t ever want to be alone like this
Haunted by the presence by of the things I miss
I am becoming a ghost of myself
I am becoming a ghost of myself
Chopped little secrets
Little things we never tell
No, I am becoming a ghost of myself

As is sometimes typical with Voxtrot’s songs, the music (which ends up kind of soaring at towards the end of “Ghost”) belies the starkness of the lyrics.

Firecracker” (and the song that follows, “Brother in Conflict”) contains a punky swagger, and, to me, “Firecracker” is going to be a monster song in concert (and one you’d want to crank up at home when you’re alone) due to the chorus:

I will kick the wall
Smash the lights
Rip the shades
Burn it all
Firecracker
Firecracker
I will not complain at all
I will never be tricked by you
I will never be tricked by you

The big ballad sits near the end of the album. “Real Live Verison” is the “get your lighters out” set closer and it’s filled with almost mournful strings and quiet piano.

As has been noted in many quarters, people who like smart pop (which is sometimes taken to only mean “British Pop” will find a lot to like here). The oft made comparison is to Belle & Sebastian, but I don’t find Voxtrot to be quite as pretentious as B & S. In any case, it’s nice to buy an album that is this highly consistent from track to track and I think it’s best consumed as a single listen whenever you decide to spin it. Highly recommended.

Advertisements

~ by uvasig on May 24, 2007.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: