Kevin Devine - Put Your Ghost To Rest
- Artist: Kevin Devine
- Album: Put Your Ghost To Rest
- Label: Capitol
- Year of Release: 2006
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: kev_stev on 2008-04-23
Brooklyn native Kevin Devine, along with his "Goddamn Band," have been buzzing in the New York indie-scene. His constant touring and good friendship with emo-rockers Brand New have made Kevin Devine a more household name over the years, which is a well deserved feat after producing his impressive 2006 release, Put Your Ghost to Rest.
Ghost is a record inspired by blues; the tracks have bluesy melodies with melancholic undertones, though, ultimately, the album never stands still and is difficult to catergorize as a whole. There are instant, long-lasting classics like "Me and My Friends," which is an almost apathetic outlook on Devine and his friends' tendencies to abuse alcohol and drugs, and "Just Stay," which ends in a booming, melodic crescendo. Devine occasionally slows the pace of Ghost with starkly acoustic tracks like "A Billion Bees," where Devine's softest vocals gently play off of his slow guitar picking, as he sings, "And I locked my anger in my lungs / so every breath stung more and more / a wave of whips across my spine / a billion bees trapped in my chest / nails on a chalkboard every time." Devine follows the same pattern on his closer, "Heaven Bound and Glory Be," where his narrative song-writing is emphasized as the music is stripped down to produce an intimate and emotive atmosphere.
Devine's foray into the more country twanged rock is his only downfall: "Less Yesterday, More Today," for instance, drags slowly and feels unsuited for Devine's vocals. More consistently on Ghost, though, is Devine's heartwrenchingly genuine and wonderfully descriptive song-writing, which may be the album's greatest triumph. Though it has its flaws, Ghost is an extremely impressive release, combining elements of Bright Eyes' despairful lyricism with Neutral Milk Hotel's musical variation and orchestral sound--making for an ambitious, well-written album. Pick this one up, and check out Kevin Devine's live show too; it's intense and brings an album like Put Your Ghost to Rest to a new level.
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