As Nick Zammuto rolls out his second solo album since disbanding the Books in 2012, his sound is rapidly becoming more conventional, possibly even mainstream. What was once a puzzling labyrinth with shadowy corners and colourful openings is now a well signposted high street. In jettisoning the offbeat complexity of the Books, Zammuto has unfortunately taken away a great deal of the charm, too. Anchor isn't necessarily bad, but it's flat. Palatable or not, Zammuto's music has always been unique in some way, but this latest album could have been recorded by anyone.

Anchor is enjoyable — opener "Good Graces" and "IO," in particular — but it's a fish taco, and listeners expect sashimi from Zammuto; his talent seems wasted here. Perhaps this would've been an acceptable debut album from an unknown band, but Zammuto is definitely more talented than this album would have you believe. (Temporary Residence)
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