Review : Elvis Perkins - Elvis Perkins In Dearland
Rollingstonesp>Elvis Perkins' debut was an often stunning, subdued piece devoted to the deaths of his parents. Perkins hasn't entirely moved on, but now there's a proper band behind him, and there's celebration in the music — strings, New Orleans horns and distorted blues rock. "Hey" begins with a gospel feel before jaunting into uptempo, Kinks–like folk pop. There's also some closure in the lyrics. The guitar and hissing electronics that introduce "Shampoo" give way to keyboards and drums, with Perkins singing, "Sweep up, little sweeper boy." And in the gorgeous closing ballad, when his fluttery voice poses the bitter question "How's forever been, baby?" you can hear echoes of Leonard Cohen singing "So Long, Marianne."...full text
Culturebully.The first time I saw Elvis Perkins in Dearland live, it was coming off of the release of Ash Wednesday, Perkins’ gorgeously depressing 2006 debut (which he recorded prior to members of Dearland joining the band). After hearing the album and the back story (much of the content was written around the time of Perkins’ mother’s death in the 9/11 attack) I expected to be in tears by the end of the first song. The band surprised me, however, by bursting forth with one of the happiest, rocking-est sets that I witnessed all year. The disconnect was obvious though: Perkins in the studio was an introspective loner; Perkins onstage was much more like his namesake, the King. The band’s new self titled album brings the two sides of that dichotomy closer together—while it still has all the pathos of Elvis Perkins “woe-is-me” attitude, it also brings to the fold a much fuller and more upbeat sound (thanks in part to the full band in the recording studio). The result is, I think, the best of both worlds.
The record begins with the fabulous single, “Shampoo.” Though the meaning behind the lyrics is all but indecipherable, the melody is a gorgeously haunting organ and guitar dirge, with a harmonica wail thrown in for good measure. It also samples Star Wars’ R2D2, borrows a lyrical convention from Nina Simone’s “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” and sounds as if it is being dictated to a shampoo bottle. If you have any insight as to what it is all about, I am dying to know....full text
ThephoenixElvis Perkins is the third Elvis on my iPod, and he's also the least controversial of the lot: he doesn't shake his pelvis or appropriate the unsung musical styles of others, and he certainly hasn't engaged in an epithet-laced bar fight at a Holiday Inn.
Perkins's bag is a knack for making the lonely conceits of the contemporary singer-songwriter sound uplifting. His sophomore release, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, which shares the name of his terrific band, offers both minor- and major-key songs, all of them extending their arms skyward like huzzahs from the barstool; even "Doomsday" is quite the reveler....full text
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