Saint Cloud [Analog]
レコード盤, リミックス含む, インポート, 2020/3/27
Written immediately in the period following her decision to get sober, the album is an unflinching self-examination. This raw, exposed narrative terrain is aided by a shift in sonic arrangements as well. While her last two records featured the kind of big guitars, well-honed noise, and battering sounds that characterized her Philadelphia scene and strongly influenced a burgeoning new class of singer-songwriters, Saint Cloud strips back those layers to create space for Crutchfield's voice and lyrics. The result is a classic Americana sound with modern touches befitting an artist who has emerged as one of the signature storytellers of her time.Over the course of Saint Cloud's 11 songs, which were recorded and produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver), Crutchfield peels back the distortion of electric guitars to create a wider sonic palette than on any previous Waxahatchee album. It is a record filled with nods to classic country folk-inspired tones, and distinctly modern touches.
Initially I found it less than exciting but it's a definite grower.
There are of course (thankfully) some beautiful old school Katie tracks such as "St Cloud" & "Arkadelphia" but she occasionally lets her singing stray into a very high register e.g on "War" & "Fire" which for me doesn't suit her voice at all. The angst of previous albums and the indie-guitar sound is mostly missing too so I suppose you could call this a fairly uplifting album albeit at a fairly low level.
It might eventually turn out to be another 5 star album but at this stage I have to say it's probably my least favourite Waxahatchee album but that of course doesn't negate it's undoubted beauty.
8 out of 10