Exclaim!'s Top 10 Folk & Country Albums Best of 2016



 
5. Daniel Romano
Mosey
(New West Records)

Musical mad scientist that he is, it's logical that Daniel Romano would craft a record that grapples with so many man-made monstrosities. Scan the liner notes to his records, where he's often credited with playing every instrument, writing every song and producing every note, and you get a sense of the breadth of his talent. Mosey, though, is something different; it more clearly conveys the sensitive intelligence that propels Romano's artistic mind.
 
He's couched these songs in a certain studio hue; occasionally the symphonic arrangements pop out like sepia-soaked theme songs for flashy 1970s action TV shows, but the songs themselves are biting and gritty, their measured, aching deliveries belying a seething condemnation of the cult of personality and fashion consciousness that we've come to embrace like a default setting.
 
Romano himself knows that; because of his penchant for Nudie suits, giant Stetsons and moustaches, he's painted himself an image. This is the sound of a man fighting his way out of his own corner.
Vish Khanna