Big Thief

(Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Masterpiece (2016), 5/10
Capacity (2017), 5/10

New York's Big Thief, fronted by vocalist Adrianne Lenker and guitarist Buck Meek, resurrected Juliana Hatfield's confessional pop on Masterpiece (Saddle Creek, 2016) in songs such as Vegas and Interstate. On the other had, Masterpiece seems to mock the martial anthems of Neil Young, but with a much more creative guitar break by Buck Meek. Another showcase of Meek's guitar playing is Randy, only apparently a plain and linear ditty, and in reality inhabited by ghostly (guitar) voices. The singer's gentle mode is instead enough to propel the spare, plaintive Lorraine and the waltzing country serenade Paul. She's no torch shouter, though, as proven by Real Love. Alas, too many songs are fillers. This should have been an EP.

Big Thief's two main weapons, the screeching guitar cacophony and the gentle country singing, are well combined in Shark Smile, the Bruce Springsteen-esque standout of Capacity (Saddle Creek, 2017). The songs here try to be more melodic and to sound more intimate. The price to pay is that the likes of Capacity and Mythological Beauty sound dejavu.

(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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