Magnolia Electric Co. Josephine

Magnolia Electric Co. Josephine
The first LP from Magnolia Electric Co. since the 2007 death of bass player Evan Farrell, Josephine once again sees singer-songwriter Jason Molina teaming up with producer Steve Albini for another round of tortured indie musings. Like every LP Molina has recorded, Josephine features a smattering of musical jewels along with a bucket of new themes from an already drying well of ideas. Although songs like "An Arrow in the Gale" and the title track characteristically chug along like Rust Never Sleeps at half speed, most of the material on Josephine seems fluttering and under-, if not un-, inspired. Molina's tortured wail and barely-there provisions are swapped for more honky, tonky, wound tight arrangements. As Molina has forewarned critics not to use Farrell's death as a device to interpret the album, it's hard to look at Josephine as anything but a numb and impassive aftershock to the passing of a good friend. (Secretly Canadian)