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Friday, April 02, 2010

One of the Best Albums of 2010: Laura Veirs

Measured, Mature Songwriting and Arrangements

Compared to Laura Veirs’ last two “beyond” folk albums on Nonesuch, July Flame will appear to some ears as a back-to-basics or purer folk album. But that would be too nearsighted an inference.

If on her first album Veirs captured a beautifully simple folk coffeehouse ethos, marked by sweet warbles and interesting if generically perfunctory acoustic picking and strumming, this album is far too “produced” to retain much of an applicable folk moniker, and boyfriend-producer Tucker Martine deserves a lot of credit for keeping Veirs’ silky throat at the center of these more-than-folk compositions. While there is an acoustic kernel on almost all of these songs, a little acoustic guitar or piano riff of two bars repeated dutifully but hardly monotonously for two or three minutes, the electric elements are also capacious, from guitars to synthesizers, on some songs. Continue...

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