Ken Reaume Ken Reaume

Rarely does music as starkly affecting as Ken Reaume’s eight-song debut come along. Recorded in his bedroom, each song on the album is a sparse acoustic track haunted by pale-faced observations. Although Reaume’s sound ranges from Smog to an early Elliot Smith, the comparisons just don’t do an album this honest justice. Reaume’s subsided voice lends a haunting quality to his music. His laid-back style and complacent tones bring forth a disturbing urgency in his songs, hinting at pains still too fresh to fully comprehend. This is done without ever over-illustrating and making it self absorbed. The highlight is the album closer, "Christians.” Starting with a sample of what is presumably Ken’s family discussing his problems, the song grows into a perfect expression of the distance that misunderstanding brings among loved ones. So, although the limited pressing of 80 hand-drawn copies of the album may make it hard to track the disc down, it’s worth the effort. (Pariah)