Yesterday Sharon Van Etten released her much awaited sophomore album, “Tramp.” And while Tramp is far more prolific than last year’s Epic, it does seem to lack just that - epic music. Sharon Van Etten is many things, but a master lyricist she is not. However, she has a knack for turning simple and repetitive lyrics into extremely layered and beautifully orchestrated stories that follow you around. After giving Tramp a few listens, it seems that perhaps this skill wanes over the course of creating a full LP, as to where her EP was likely just the small collection of songs she could really fill with that je ne sais quoi before going idle and spilling out droning cliches that rest on her magnificent and unique voice.
Sadly, and much akin to Lana del Rey’s new album, Sharon’s first single from Tramp is the highlight of the album. “Serpents” has the relativity and cynicism of Aimee Mann, the grandiose of Florence + the Machine, and the tortured sound of Cat Power.
RADICAL FACE | The Family Tree: The Roots ”Ghost Towns”
While everyone is clamoring over the new Feist album, I am elated over the long-awaited follow-up to Radical Face’s 2006 album, Ghost. Ghost and, specifically, it’s big(g-ish) hit “Welcome Home, Son” were the musical highlights of that year for me. I was beginning to think he wouldn’t come back to me ever again. So it was the greatest surprise when I logged into iTunes this afternoon to see this new LP waiting for me.
If you’ve never heard Radical Face you are totally missing out. Radical Face is Ben Cooper, whose voice you may recognize from the band Electric President. Radical Face is his much more mellow and experimental project. It’s reminiscent of early Sparklehorse and really quite touching.
Here is the ever so epic “Welcome Home, Son” off of the Ghost LP, which is a musical masterpiece and easily one of my top five favorite songs of all-time.