- Audio CD (Oct. 23 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: SCD / Asthmatic Kitty
- ASIN: B000VDDBJ8
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #329,328 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
In the Vines
|1. Rain Will Come|
|2. This Is the Early Game|
|3. Westbound, Blue|
|4. Strong Animal|
|6. The Fields Crack|
|7. Three Months Paid|
|8. The Night Is When You Can Not See|
|9. Sounded Like a Train, Wasn't a Train|
|10. And the Swimming|
Ray Raposa had nearly finished this follow-up to 2005's FIRST LIGHT'S FREEZE when he was mugged at gunpoint outside his Brooklyn home. This climaxed a year of depression and nomadic, nocturnal dislocation for him. Appropriately, the album is based on a Hindu fable about being trapped in an inescapable fate, with death and the limitations of our physical lives closing in from all corners. But it isn't all darkness and peril; there's a strange sense of hope and delight in the brief moments of beauty that sustain our lives. Guest Appearances by Jana Hunter, Sufjan Stevens, Viking Moses, Matthe Houck, Rafter Roberts, Nonhorse and Nathan Delffs.
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I have been a huge Castanets fan ever since I got Cathedral. I was travelling overseas at the time, and I found myself listening to it constantly. His voice, and the simplicity of the album kept me listening, and with every listen I found more layers and depths.
But flash forward three years, and we find a very different album. There is no doubt that it is a Castanets cd, but he's moved further away from simpler song structures. As Dusted pointed out, the third song is probably the only one that can be considered a traditional song. Songs fade in, fade out, and seem to end in odd places. The smallest shift in a song is meant to signify something. This is an album, in the truest sense of the word. It should be listened to in its entirety. It is not a collection of singles. By trying to compare The Castents to other similar artists, we miss what sets him apart.
I doubt that this album will attract any new fans, but for those that enjoy the other two albums, this one will not disappoint.
Raposa's music has previously been described as "country, jazz and quiet indie rock," and this album continues to draw from folk and experimental rock, creating bizarre ballads and a mood that is dreary, yet inspiring. Armed with acoustic guitar, Raposa's vocals tend to be raspy, quiet and harsh. Although Raposa is a singer-songwriter, Castanets are a community of various musicians, including St. Vincent's Annie Clark, label mate and friend Sufjan Stevens and Nick Delffs of Shaky Hands. In the Vines begins with "Rain Will Come," a desolate and despondent medley that combines penetrating guitar with piercing keyboard. Raposa hums about a journey to self-realization, a trek that is "going to be sad/it's going to be long," towards an uncertain end. He nearly whispers his desire to settle down on the track "Three Months Paid," describing places to inhabit but never reaching a final destination.
This album must be heard more than just once, preferably on a rainy day with an even cloudier mood. Each track consists of distorted sound and intensely psychological and intimate lyrics which are cold and haunting. Castanets are full of variety, ranging from banjo and strings to bells, horns, keyboard and electronic beats. Raposa has increased his musical capabilities, expanding the boundaries of folk music just as much as he pushes the boundaries of his own musical inclination.
If you have a pulse, or even if you don't, you should purchase this phenomenal record. Very Highly Reccommended!
There is so much so-so modern folk music out there that doesn't push any boundaries. Along comes something different and unfortunately it flies under the radar. I agree with another reviewer that Pitchfork really is a terrible indicator of quality these days. They are stuck up their own you know what.
Buy this album and enjoy a band experimenting with sounds that are difficult to find elsewhere.