Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas

The one and only Mountain Goat John Darnielle has released this brilliant collection of indie pop folk songs over ten years into his very prolific recording history. Darnielle’s voice and guitar are the only sounds that grace this album, unless you include the wheel grind of his Panasonic RX-FT500 boom box. Darnielle is so happy with the imperfections created by this recording device that we find a detailed explanation of its malfunctioning parts in the liner notes. Darnielle never wants to impede the organic character of his songs and what it takes to put them on tape, and likewise the people described in these songs are vivid depictions of living beings, as human and imperfect as the music of the Mountain Goats. By keeping these songs in their most basic form, the quality songwriting shines through. Some might call this an impressive demo. Thankfully Darnielle isn’t going to try to fix anything when it isn’t really broken. (Emperor Jones)