Mt. Desolation Mt. Desolation

Mt. Desolation Mt. Desolation
Brits have always had their distinctive take on country music, one that most purists usually dismiss outright. Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin of Keane won't win any converts in that camp with this side-project, which purports to reflect their love of Hank Williams, et al. What Mt. Desolation is, in fact, is a rather more straightforward version of Keane, with Tom Chaplin's soaring tenor replaced by Rice-Oxley's mumbled ― some might say, "earthy" ― vocals. While the subject matter of songs like "Annie Ford," "Bridal Gown" and "Midnight Ghost" have a bit of rustic flavour, Rice-Oxley can't conceal his pop instincts under an ill-fitting cowboy hat. That's not to say that Keane fans, or Brit-pop fans in general, won't appreciate this moody, well-crafted collection. It's just that alt-country fans should be forewarned that, as with Britain's other recent "folk rock" export, Mumford & Sons, the hype is much different than the result. (Universal)