LAMBCHOP > OH (Ohio)

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Lambchop’s ever-curious recording aesthetic probably loses it more potential fans than it gains. But those who stay with the collective-like Nashville band on OH (Ohio), which buries songwriter Kurt Wagner’s quietly deliberate, almost-ineffably mournful vocals in its tastefully sophisticated, alt-country-meets-Bacharach arrangements, probably will find themselves unshakable devotees.

Label: MERGE
[Rating: 3.5]

Lambchop’s ever-curious recording aesthetic probably loses it more potential fans than it gains. But those who stay with the collective-like Nashville band on OH (Ohio), which buries songwriter Kurt Wagner’s quietly deliberate, almost-ineffably mournful vocals in its tastefully sophisticated, alt-country-meets-Bacharach arrangements, probably will find themselves unshakable devotees. They’ll keep coming back to Wagner, like leaning toward a wise man who can barely speak, trying to get the meaning and full emotion from his mysterious songs. OH (Ohio) is a gorgeously produced and arranged album, moving from the directness of a melancholy uptown-soul number like “A Hold of You” to more enigmatically alluring songs whose titles-“I’m thinking of a Number (between one and two)” and “Sharing a Gibson with Martin Luther King, Jr.”-beckon like carnival lights through a thick fog. Many won’t want to go there. Those who do may not want to return.



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