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Damien Jurado: Where Should You Take Me

 
Damien Jurado
Where Should You Take Me

I must have started at least a half dozen different reviews for this album. Each one had a different style to it; on one I tried to start by recalling a scene from the movie Smoke Signals; on another, I started talking about Bruce Springsteen; another had me rambling about the pros and cons of being signed to Subpop. While the reviews all started the same, they all ended up saying pretty much the same thing: this is a hell of a good album.

Once again, on his 7th album Jurado proves he's here to stay as a songwriter and guitarist. Remaining rooted in the minimalist tones, he takes the listener across a landscape that only the most depressed could appreciate. 'Matinee' sounds as if he recorded the album while testing out new songs in some old coffee shop west of Nowhere, and 'I Can't Get Over You' has a distinctly Nebraska-esque tone that would have even the devotest of Springsteen fans checking the album cover to see who is singing. There's nothing 'new' on this album, but perhaps that's what makes it great; its old school Jurado, curled over his recording machines with no sense of time, money or place. It's music stripped bare and its great.

In a culture devoted to action movies, fast cars, and pin-up models, Jurado is too thought-provoking; the reason why more people don't listen to him is that he takes too long. His droned out songs would sell better if one played his record on 45 instead of 33.

He's the extended version of sex instead of the quickie; he's cooking supper instead of ordering in; he's tending to the lawn instead of letting it grow; he's brewing his coffee instead of buying Starbucks. But as everyone know who's taken the former rather than the latter in all my examples, its well worth the wait.

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