Dave Bazan - Curse Your Branches

by B. J. Eakin on Sep 1, 2009 at 11:13 AM
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Today (September 1st) Dave Bazan has released his first LP under his name (since Pedro the Lion or Headphones) on Barsuk records entitled Curse Your Branches.  I am rather pleased with the outcome from this boy yet not raving crazy. 

Now, I am not giving you any sort of critical viewpoint of the lyrical content of the album itself.  Typically with Dave Bazan's work it takes me a bit of time to digest the depth and meat of the text.  This dude has got some serious skill when it comes to song writing - specifically seen in Pedro the Lion where he can give a deft, solid punch of lyrical depression and sarcasm embodied in a single phrase.   so... unfortunately this is not about that -- it is solely about the "sound" of the new album.

If you know Bazan fans, then you know that they are obsessed with him.  I have seen him in concert and everyone referred to him as "Dave" like he was their closest buddy.  I am not one of those people.  I like his work but I am not overly-mystified or star-struck by any means.  This album is good though.  It is clearly better than Achilles Heel when he was with Pedro. It does remain static after the first couple of songs until the end of the last track.  In addition to that, the songs are kind of shorter than normal.  Actually one song, "Harmless Sparks," is only 2:30 in time and was a little disappointing because I would have liked to last longer.  You could almost qualify this as an EP because you can FLY through it -- although it does have 10 tracks.

So the album starts with "Hard to Be" and I was excited from the get-go because of the difference in style.  Once again, from this song and intermittently throughout the album and titles, the lyrics are laced with Biblical and spiritual content.  I have yet to tell if he is positive or negative about God, yet time will tell.  After the first track, though, we see that he returns to this coffee-house, hippie type of folk music -- which is not a bad thing, he does it well. My favorite tracks are the first, as mentioned, "Please, Baby, Please" (specifically because it was fun to sing to my two month old daughter),"Heavy Breath," and "In Stitches."  One thing is for sure, Bazan gets better after the first listen, so I am looking forward to hearing more.

I think you should give it a listen if you have ever listened to his stuff in the past.  I have been kind of turned off to him and this really got me back in the swing of things again with his work.  The songs can seem repetitive and pass by quickly but give it a hear (on this site)...

the video does not do the song justice... and my goodness, he has not changed his look at all in seven years!


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