Advance Base A Shut-In's Prayer

After discovering that Advance Base is the new moniker of Owen Ashworth (formally known as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone), A Shut-In's Prayer makes a lot more sense. It isn't just a simple extension of his last project; it is the next logical step in his musical odyssey. It isn't the hugest step forward, in that things are still pretty lo-fi when it comes to his sound, and there's still a reliance on drum machines and keyboards, but there's definitely more fleshing out than previously. He's still mining that rich vein of nostalgia he's been digging at for years, but he's gotten to the good stuff. The narratives are better developed and there are invariably a couple of lines in each song that hit home emotionally. He's just writing better songs now, as demonstrated by both "Riot Grrrls" and "My Sister's Birthday." A Shut-In's Prayer is a great way for Ashworth to start off life as Advance Base and is the best album of his career to date. (Caldo Verde)