Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo CD review

(4 out of 5)

There is a puzzling precision to the music of Kurt Vile. The Philly-based singer/songwriter makes songs that are pretty raw, emotionally, and releases them at a fairly prolific pace; however, while that description would ordinarily signify a sloppy oeuvre that tilts toward quantity over quality, Kurt Vile’s music is high-grade, thoughtful material that is anything but sloppy. And on SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO – Vile’s fourth full-length album in under three years – he’s delivered another stunning album that deftly balances itself between thoughtful drama and spontaneous soul-baring. The multiple layers at work here – whether on the gently rustic “Runner Ups” or the fractured blues of “Puppet to the Man” – unveil themselves organically. The vitriolic whisper of a cut like “Society Is My Friend” would, in lesser hands, be a washed-out acoustic number or a spastic rocker; Vile makes it an open-ended question that fills the room with churning instrumentation that hovers somewhere between rock n’ roll rebellion and folksy lament. Vile’s true gift is that he’s a born arranger, able to naturally (and quickly) turn his ideas into unique and provocative songs that are as beautiful as they are haunting.

First appeared March 8, 2011 at Shockhound.com.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

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