James Vincent McMorrow

Post Tropical

> > Jan 13 2014

James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical
By Stuart HendersonThough it was probably inevitable that the monstrous success of Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago would spawn a generation of falsetto-voiced mellowniks, it has nonetheless been surprising to see just how many new artists sound like direct descendants of that 2007 release. Top of the heap is Ireland's James Vincent McMorrow, whose second album will likely find a wide audience among Vernon-ophiles with its finely calibrated languidness and carefully measured beauty. But it is this very precision that will be, to other ears, its undoing. Over ten tracks and 40 minutes, Post Tropical never picks up any steam, never comes to life. Mere gorgeousness is, it turns out, not quite enough to sustain a record.

The addition of understated backing vocals and some electronic instrumentation only serves to exaggerate this effect, washing out the songs with waves of sleepy beauty. Though possessed of a stunning voice, McMorrow's falsetto floats dreamily above his songs like a cloud, at once lovely and insubstantial. Even after repeated listens, one struggles to identify different tunes here, different melodies. However, the Jeff Buckley-ish intensity of "Glacier," a late-album spirit-lifter, lurks like a hungry wolf among the sheep. More of that next time, please.
(Dine Alone)
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This album is incredible - tastefully layered in every way, sometimes brooding, sometimes crescending towards a peak that never quite takes off - which is clearly intentional in complimenting the emotional value driving the album. On that note, what the fuck Stuart Henderson?

You know that adage about cops having to hit "a quota" per day with tickets? Seems like you're stretching to reach your 1 bad review per month quota. If nearly every notable publication has given this album shining reviews, and Exclaim!, arguably Canada's biggest music magazine is rowing against the current with a 5/10, then I sense intentions based more on writing a negative review for a negative review's sake, rather than comprehending the beauty of this album.

Maybe your ears just aren't there yet?
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Its on Dine Alone. Not EMI / Universal
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Apologies for an initial error that cited the wrong record label. Kudos to Dine Alone.
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