Giant Sand | Blurry Blue Mountain (Fire Records)

Even though there’s not a ton going on with the instrumentation on this album, the lyrics certainly pay huge dividends.

 

 

 

Howe Gelb’s signature gravel-tongued baritone croons a collection of sparse, powerfully-worded verses on his most recent recording effort, Blurry Blue Mountain. The album mostly treads similar territory to what we’ve previously heard from his avant-folk outfit Giant Sand, with clever lyrics thoughtfully delivered over gritty guitars and straightforward percussion.

On the opener, “Fields of Green” Gelb sings, “They’ve been killing off all my heroes since I was seventeen,” showing off the particularly nostalgic lamentations that become a recurring theme. Even though there’s not a ton going on with the instrumentation on this album, the lyrics certainly pay huge dividends. Gelb is a poet who seems to write about what he knows: aging and love. The record lingers a bit too long in parts, and it could use some shifts in tone, affect or scale to relieve the drudgery, but overall it does it’s thing very well.

Glen Elkins | B
 

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