Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck

Album Review
April 2011

Cover Art: The Mountain Goats, 'All Eternals Deck'

Damning vampires and surviving with eloquence

On the Mountain Goats' 18th album, frontman John Darnielle radiates an unfamiliar feeling: comfort. He enlists death-metal dude Erik Rutan as an unlikely producer (on four songs), but if All Eternals Deck rarely stumbles, it rarely surprises, either. As usual, the North Carolina trio's latest is musically contemplative (mostly acoustic guitar or piano, bass, drums, maybe strings) and lyrically bountiful (camera-ready metaphors, idiosyncratic settings, characters with warts). Darnielle's reedy whisper -- or, less often now, shout -- confides but also encourages: "We hold hands and we jump / And as we fall, we sing." For Darnielle, that's living.

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"Goes over the top and stays there to very nice effect."
-- David Carr, The New York Times

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-- Rob Walker, The New York Times

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-- Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

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