Kurt Vile - B'live I'm Goin' Down cover (photo:: )
Album reviews
Artist:
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Release year:
2015
Label:
Matador
19 October 2015 / by Keith Hamilton (author)

Kurt Vile has released his sixth full length album, B'Live I'm Goin' Down... to nearly exclusively positive reviews. Many who speak of his music aren't quite sure how to pigeon-hole its sound, yet manage to walk away feeling mightily impressed by his sonic achievements.

It's easy to openly praise his lyrical content, both past and present, as well as acknowledge that his craft is ever improving. With B'Live I'm Goin' Down...Vile has become wittier, and his lyrics have grown more sophisticated. His distinct voice is often referred to when he receives press; a stumbling, yet calculated murmur with a charming and unplaceable accent. However, often missed are remarks that focus on the brilliance of the rhythmic delivery which Vile gives to the lyrics throughout the record. As evocative, referential and transporting as they are, I believe their greatest success is in the slickness and confidence of their delivery.

Instrumentally, this record shifts slightly away from his signature guitar sounds to include cozier acoustic instruments like banjo and piano. As such, the feel of B'Live I'm Goin' Down... moves slightly from rock and closer to singer-songwriter territory. This is true, as there are fewer rock-out moments on this record, yet it's impossible not to get caught in the groove of the album's lead single "Pretty Pimpin'". The fact that comes through is that Kurt Vile has assembled a diverse and dynamic album that embodies his signature sound while managing to push into new territory. The record grooves hard while being folkier and more introspective than his previous releases.

Kurt made this record in the late evenings while his family slept and that certianly contributed to a more intimate and darker sounding record. To the inattentive or casual listener, there is an undoubtable night-time vibe on the record, yet this turns into an pleasant, epic journey for the devoted appreciator of the listening process.

For certain, this is not the type of record for listeners seeking a collection of pop singles, but for those whole still crave the well crafted LP, the luscious textures and warm tones spread onto this record, sprinkled with delicious lyrics and their calculated-ly smooth delivery will not be disappointed. I've spent the majority of my listens to this record while behind the wheel of a tour-van at night, and I must say, that is certainly an ideal scenario for soaking it all in. 

The author

Keith Hamilton

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