Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few June in Siberia

Mark Berube and the Patriotic FewJune in Siberia
Mark Berube's flair for rhyme, rhythm and repetition has won him comparisons to Leonard Cohen, and his heartbreaking vocals to those of Rufus Wainwright. But as stunning as his last few records were, Berube and his Patriotic Few collaborators were just warming-up. Their latest release, featuring contributions from Dan Mangan, among others, is a fearless expression of beauty, an intrinsic one that flouts external approval, as if June in Siberia knows all too well its worth. Church chimes, crackling percussion and poetic turns of phrase entangle themselves in whirling keystrokes, building upon each other as if heading towards a chaotic collapse. If these ambitious arrangements don't knock you flat then an undertow of groaning strings and Berube's heaving accordion will. June in Siberia's seamless mix of raw exuberance ("My Me Lady" and "Tailored to Fit"), along with more textured, meditative tracks like "Gone Clear" and "Side of the Road," are sure to please live music fans and headphonauts alike. (Aquarius)