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Cost

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Patrick Phelan

Cost

12" LP

Availability: In stock

$10.99

Quick Overview

Phelan's third full-length places an emphasis on the guttural. He's much less guarded than on previous records. There's no lack of desperation in these new songs, yet a hopeful tone is maintained throughout. Balance is the key. Emotion is the lock. Simplicity is the door. The songs aren't crowded by unnecessary words or sounds, but Phelan also steers "Cost" from tipping too far in the minimalist direction, thanks in part to a bevy of guitar solos and an abundance of true rock moments. Contributors include Greta Brinkman (Moby's bassist) and Camper Van Beethoven's Jonathan Segel. For fans of Elliott Smith, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, and Marc Ribot.

Details

The lingering notes on Patrick Phelan's 2000 self-titled for Jagjaguwar seemed to suggest hesitation, like he was unsure of or at least unhurried about bringing his personal voice out of South's drifting post-rock. But his sophomore effort, Parlor, integrated that dawdle thanks to a more effective band setup, and 2005's Cost is better still. "Favor," for example, includes his usual lush exhale of a singing voice, and his spidery acoustic guitar. But it rides on a thick bassline that's lent even more girth in the outro by the addition of scraggly electric guitar. (Sonic Youth is nodding favorably in the wings.) Cost works because it levels off somewhere between linger and indie rock flourish. Phelan is happy to dwell on opaque thoughts and feelings. But he understands how to color them with a little force or unlikely instrumental turn. Even a spare voice and guitar number like "Sails Descending" builds real tension with well-placed instrumentation in support -- liquidy keys and the scrape of a violin -- and "Settlements," which might have floated off on some detour in the past, is now brief and to the point. Like most of Cost it's still elegiac and cloudy, but it reaches its elevation faster. "Through the Bedroom Wall" takes a little longer to arrive, but it too plays Phelan's hushed fluster and romantic keyboard surges off a dynamic instrumental break, and "Ruin," maybe Cost's best track, makes great use of both dramatic guitar notes and Phelan's vocals. Pleading through the song's splattering reverb, he sounds like a '50s crooner wallowing in (Smog).

Additional Information

Artist Patrick Phelan
Track Listing 1 In Words - 2:41 2 Favor - 5:01 3 Ruin - 5:05 4 Sails Descending - 5:05 5 Lesser Laws - 4:28 6 In View - 2:07 7 Settlements - 1:53 8 Through the Bedroom Wall - 6:23 9 We Forgive Our Own - :50 10 Then Trust - 4:03 11 Fall - 6:01

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