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Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future IslandsReigning Sound



Jul 15, 2014 Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future Islands Bookmark and Share

Greg Cartwright finds a new home on Merge for the latest incarnation of Reigning Sound, and continues his heart-on-the-sleeve, southern-fried mining of ‘50s and ‘60s R&B, ‘60s Nuggets psych and garage rock fodder, andstill, despite the softening edges and string arrangementsa sprinkling of punk swagger. As with the last full-length, 2009’s Love & Curses, the volume’s just turned down a bit. Recording in the Daptone’s House of Soul studio in Brooklyn seems to have lent the proceedings a perfect patina of warm, midrange goodness, with Dave Amels’ percussive

gospel organs blazing on most every track, and all of Cartwright’s balladry adorned just so. “Never Coming Home,” for example, is so perfectly him, the master of the second-person relationship jam, heartbroken again, propped up only by his own sheer songcraft and (in this case) a wonderful section of sentimental strings. Ditto on “Once More,” where Cartwright and crew sway in the breeze like a down-on-its-luck palm tree, dropping coconuts of regret and surf-guitar ornamentation. If you wanna dig around in the sand for a specimen of career growth and master-level songwriting chops, why not pick “My, My,” which finds Cartwright as a kind of Van Morrison incarnate, infusing utter simplicity with passion and complexity, dropping couplets like “I don’t claim to be lucky in love/That don’t stop me from lovin’ to roll the dice.” Keep rollin’, Greg; we’re all seeing doubles. (‎)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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