Spain The Soul Of Spain

Spain The Soul Of Spain
Although more than ten years have passed since Spain's last album, not a great deal has changed for the group, at least sonically. The band's leader and one constant, Josh Haden, has recruited a new trio of musicians to back him up, including Daniel Brummel of Ozma on guitar, but ultimately this sounds a great deal like Spain always did: slow and mournful, at least most of the time. Spain are at their most effective when the pace is glacial, with Haden's croon adding some warmth, so songs like "Sevenfold" and "Hang Your Head Down Low" are definite highlights. The peaks are as high as anything they've ever recorded. But when they make an ill-advised voyage into heavier territory, such as on "Miracle Man," it all falls rather flat because Haden's voice works well in a lounge, not a stadium. When a band are as un-prolific as Spain, they can't afford to place a foot wrong and The Soul of Spain is merely good when it should have been spectacular. This is a bit of a blemish on an otherwise exemplary discography. (Independent)