Hello, Blue Roses | The Portrait is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty (Locust Music)

cd_blue-roses.jpgWhile this album sounds great, it’s a lot to take at once. Even though the 14 songs add up to about 40 minutes, the stream of short tunes provides a sensory assault that causes even the smoothest sound to wear on the eardrum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every song on this album is great, but they’re all great in the same way.

Each song has Dan Bejar’s trademark eclecticism tuned to a folk frequency underneath his sweetheart Sydney Vermont’s hauntingly beautiful vocals. Vermont writes the songs and Bejar arranges them. Artistically, this is a dream team. It’s the man behind some of the best and all of the strangest moments in the New Pornographers’ career supplying great and strange instrumentals and backing vocals to an insanely-talented talented, high-voiced chartreuse.

The album sounds great, with song after song of mostly acoustic, melodic aural awesomeness.

And that’s where this gravy train hits a buffalo…or something.

While this album sounds great, it’s a lot to take at once. Even though the 14 songs add up to about 40 minutes, the stream of short tunes provides a sensory assault that causes even the smoothest sound to wear on the eardrum.

But, having too much of a good thing is a pretty minimal (and positive) flaw. And after one or two complete listenings, the album sounds like a few great EPs played back to back. Some of the more Spanish-themed songs feel especially like a mini-collection.

But together on one disc, these songs do make for a good album that’s sprawling despite its overall brevity. My biggest fear when I started this disc was that the songs would be incredibly long, Joanna Newsom style. If that were the case, the quality would be lost. Even though Bejar has made some lengthy tunes with Destroyer, his (or Vermont’s) pop brilliance keeps things simpler with Hello, Blue Roses. Each song is complete and nothing is lacking from any track. Also, the steady quality makes this the type of album that someone could start halfway through and still enjoy. B+ | Gabe Bullard

RIYL: Prefab Sprout, Joanna Newsom, Destroyer

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