CD Review: Smoke Ring For My Halo [2011]


Band:
Kurt Vile
Release: 3/2011
Label: Matador

1. “Baby’s Arms” – A-
2. “Jesus Fever” – A-
3. “Puppet to the Man” – B
4. “On Tour” – B-
5. “Society Is My Friend” – B
6. “Runner Ups” – C+
7. “In My Time” – B+
8. “Peeping Tomboy” – B-
9. “Smoke Ring For My Halo” – B-
10. “Ghost Town” – B

Comments: Vile’s live show (with the Violators) has always been one of noise and layer. On record, however, the childish prodigy has excelled at displaying a softer side that, while layered in realms of noise, is more delicately catchy and intriguing than the in-person experience. Following the KISS [Keep it simple, stupid…not the band] principle that I’ve always been fond of as a fan of music, Vile can really do a lot with a little. Unfortunately, this record is a continuation of a trend I’ve noticed in Vile’s music over the years: lack of differentiation. I don’t really blame him, but just about every song flows and sounds quite similar to the previous/next one. “In My Time,” which was first released as the title track of his 2010 EP of the same name, belongs in the category of Vile’s stronger set of songs. It features a prominent electric guitar and more memorable melody. In the end, this album don’t impress-uh-me much (to quote Shania Twain), but there definitely are some good listens to be enjoyed in the sea of repetition.

Grade: B (84)

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