The Spectrum Between
It’s nine songs. Not sidelong explorations in warm, nurturing drone, not carefully constructed musique concrete. Just wholesome songwriting in the vein of “The Thicket.” God, and there’s few things we need more of than songwriting like this. Grubbs has the poise of an old tropicalista like Tom Zè and that same penchant for slightly convoluted song structures. Grubbs has that statesman-like quality which makes lyrics like “night after the same night/there could be an ellipsis or reprieve” even better for delivery. Abstract? Nonsense! You just have to deal with the lyrics as they are, in your own way. But the music, oh the music! Everyone’s favorite amphibian John McEntire applies his light touch to the drums here alongside Mats Gustafsson, a Swedish sax player who manages to make his glottal stops and odd tone completely congruous to the mix. Enough, though. It’s one of those records I put on when it’s hot and muggy. I woke one day with this playing and the sun shining directly on my face, and it was the best I’d felt in a long time.
Drag City, 2000 West Carroll, Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60612; http://www.dragcity.com