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Smog - Red Apple Falls (1997) Retail CD
To his closest fans, it probably came as nothing less than outright heresy, but Red Apple Falls--the seventh album from the motherlode-of-miserycore Smog--ended sombre-faced indie pioneer Bill Callahan's nine-year flirtation with the ethics of lo-fi forever. That it was Smog's strongest work to date was in no small part down to the influence of producer Jim O'Rourke; coupling pianos, horns, pedal steel, and all manner of light alt-country flourishes to Callahan's desperate tales of withered love, all-consuming misanthropy, and doom-laden death imagery, O'Rourke skilfully twitches aside the curtainsmore… to let shafts of light into a monumentally twisted psyche. And while the record's first words--"The morning paper is on its way / It's all bad news on every page"--might be thoroughly bleak, this is undoubtedly a work of painful humanity; like the voice of, say, Leonard Cohen, Callahan's remarkably emotive, expressive semi-spoken vocal is capable of expressing anything from lump-in-throat empathy to startlingly inhuman callousness. Red Apple Falls would, in turn, be superceded by Smog's next record--2000's glorious Knock Knock--but this is Callahan's cold new dawn, and it sounds satisfyingly, peerlessly mordant. -- Louis Pattison
|2||Blood Red Bird|
|4||I Was A Stranger|
|5||To Be Of Use|
|6||Red Apple Falls|
- Smog - Red Apple Falls (1997) Retail CD
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- 02/03/13 by babalusi
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