Guitarist/composer Tyler earned blog love for his first solo album, Behold The Spirit. This, his first recording for hip label Merge, will likely do the same. Tyler terms it "my '70s singer-songwriter record; it just doesn't have any words." That description is actually quite apt; his atmospherics and ambience conjure a feeling of wide-open spaces, with traces of desolation and decay on the landscape. A key inspiration was reportedly Barney Hoskyns' book Hotel California, and one composition here is titled after it. Ry Cooder's soundtrack work could be a reference point, at times, while "The Last Residents of Westfall" recalls the minimalist beauty of Durutti Column. Co-producer Mark Nevers (Lambchop) helps capture this mood, while tasteful guest appearances from the likes of Chris Scruggs and Luke Schneider (both on lap steel), Roy Agee (trombone) and Scott Martin (drums) help add some variety. This is a fine soundtrack to a road movie that's yet to be filmed.
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