Amy Millan - Masters Of The Burial
I've always thought that an artist who step away from their main bands to do solo work should differ from what they normally do. Stars/Broken Social Scene singer Amy Millan does this very well. On her solo albums she breaks from the ethereal indie rock of Stars and goes in for a more mellow, country-oriented sound.
Millan stays true to that trend on her new album Masters Of The Burial. The record is her second without her Montreal bandmates and it picks up right where her debut left off.
Songs like "Low Sail" and "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" are slow twangy cowgirl singalongs. Millan's voice turns these tunes and others such as "Towers" and "Run For Me" into country-style lullabies.
If there's a complaint to be had it's that Masters Of The Burial is too similar to Honey From The Tombs. "Bruised Ghosts", "Old Perfume", and "Lost Compass" comes across at worst as retread album filler and at best as unremarkable.
There are a handful of new tricks in Millan's bag. "Bury This" features an ornate Spanish-inspired guitar solo while "Day To Day" boasts a simple yet riveting drum line.
The album is capped off by "Bound", a dark western themed narrative.
Masters Of The Burial is an album that can be at times rewarding and at times frustrating. It takes the listener some work to separate the wheat from the chaff, but the nuggets you find are well worth it.
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