The Hour of Slack
Song - Artist -
Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan -
I was expecting this to be something along the lines of that book, The Perfect Storm. At least that's what the hype made it out to be. Four artists coming together to call themselves, "The Monsters of Folk". It sounds like a super group, which is what one was expecting.
And that's what went wrong. None of these members do well in a collective group. They are used standing alone or shinning in their own project. There's Conor Oberst the front man of Bright Eyes and even more so, Desaparcidos. Mike Mogis, his "right hand man" according to my promotional insert. Yim Yames who is really Jim James when he's in My Morning Jacket. And M. Ward. Alone I love listening to them. Together they sound like the white folk version of New Edition.
Not all of it is a train wreck. Some songs compliment each other, such as the juxtaposition between M. Ward's lullaby voice and ConorOberst poetic chords in 'Whole Lotta Losin.' If you're a loyal fan to Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band or M. Ward's solo project, then some songs such as 'Man Named Truth' or 'Sandman, The Brakeman, and Me' may strike your fancy, but this is no album to convert folk followers.
Most of the album felt reused from each artist's latter works. Even the concept of 'folk supergroup' has been done. The TravelingWilburys. Is it ironic that Conor Oberst has been one of the originalartists awarded by critics the phrase 'the next Bob Dylan' or that YimYames put out his own album of only George Harrison covers at the same time? My personal favorite by "The Monsters of Folk" was 'Magic Marker'. It rang like nothing else I've heard before and the lyrics were endearing.
But 'Dear God' sounds like the Backstreet Boys grew up, turned indie, and are trying to seduce some art school girl in over sized vintage framed glasses during a candle lit dinner. It's My Morning Jacket gone bad!