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The all-inclusive, ever-changing, and uncomfortably flexible guide to all things music in the 2010's.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Strand of Oaks - Pope Killdragon: B+

Strand of Oaks is Timothy Showalter, who, on his second album, has written a series of mostly acoustic menageries with his frail and reedy voice being the only accompaniment. The occasional expansive percussion or amplified guitar appears and is almost wholly unexpected in every context of the album, but is, nevertheless, almost completely welcomed at its appearance.

The best of Pope Killdragon, ironically, is when Showalter's warm and intensely personal rambings are juxtaposed with a sound very mechanical and impersonal. Even if it's just a bleeding synth tone like in "Bonfire", the constant tension within Showalter's tunes is heightened to the point of transcendency from their minimalist cage. Pope Killdragon is still a great album filled with deep and memorable moments, but its use of disparate textures alludes to a style that would only aid Showalter if he utilized it more often.


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