Friday, September 24, 2010

Vetiver - Vetiver

Release Dates: May 18, 2004

★★★★★ Tracks:

Los Pajaros del Rio


Another artist in my library I hadn’t ever given a chance, Vetiver produce the sort of lonely, intimate folk that brings those early lo-fi records from Elliott Smith and Iron & Wine to mind. I enjoy and own nearly every Elliott Smith album ever made but I’m easily bored by most percussion-less records. At first Vetiver was no different. However after a couple of times listening to beautifully crafted tracks “Amerilie” and “Aboretum,” and tuning in to the poetic lyrics of “Luna Sea,” the album has begun to resonate.

Vetiver is at its best and most compelling when principal songwriter, Andy Cabric, allows his acoustic guitar to take a backseat to the other instrumentalists included: Joanna Newsom lends her whimsical harp on “Amerilie,” Devendra Banhart provides some stellar finger-picking guitar leads throughout the album, and co-wrote the Spanish, “Los Pajaros del Rio,” but the most interesting dynamic comes from the dual layers of cello and violin frequenting the majority of the tracks. There are a couple of misfires; I find “Amour Fou’s” vocals to be overkill, and a few songs like “Without a Song” and “Belles” linger on too long, leaving me impatient, but overall Vetiver has surprised me. This isn’t a record you are going to put on to start a weekend to, but it’s the type of restrained, woodsy folk that's damn near perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon or a sleepy-eyed commute to work.

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