Thursday, December 31, 2009

Albums of the Year, 2009 : 20 - Alec Ounsworth - Mo Beauty

" anyone who has been there can attest, New Orleans is not really the best place to be sad. It is a better place to rage, either like a Mardi Gras amateur stripper or a seersuckered epicurean with whiskey and meunière sauce stains trailing down the front of his shirt. Ounsworth falls into the latter category of partygoing on the darkly propulsive rockers like "Modern Girl (...With Scissors)," "Bones in the Grave," "That Is Not My Home (After Breugel)," and "Me and You, Watson." The moment in "Modern Girl" where Ounsworth lingers over the lyric "All this useless beauty" with his characteristic wail before making way for a smoky saxophone solo is emblematic of the record's strengths. Or take the nourish "Bones," in which the singer narrates a grotesque tale while riding a snaky guitar line provided by Berlin. Here and elsewhere Ounsworth incorporates New Orleans's unique energy into his own vision, a kind of sweet spot at the intersection of Dylanesque folk-rock, 1970s funk, and classic indie-rock."

- Wilson McBee, Slant Magazine

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