Califone - Stitches - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Califone - Stitches

by Paul Downey Rating:6 Release Date:2013-09-02

The best way of describing Califone's latest album would be 'experimental'. At times, when they keep it quite simple, it becomes very pleasant, but too often songs are over-complicated with splashs of all kinds of genres and instruments spliced together to make for an incoherant listen.

Opener 'Movie Music Kills a Kiss' has a mellow, acoustic Americana vibe which recalls Dylan at his most laidback but it lacks a really killer chorus to take it onto another level and have the audience eating out of the palm of your hand from the get-go. The problem with at least half of the 10 tracks is that there isn't anything memorable about them, although they're also sometimes overproduced.

Highlights include 'Frosted Tips', which sounds very much like Doves thrown into a blender, and the bizarrely titled 'Moonbath.brainsalt.a.holy.fool', which after a slow start builds into something on a grander scale than we have heard up until this point. It's a real musical extravanganza which actually hits the spot. Elsewhere, 'We Are a Payphone' has a delightful riff throughout which fit perfectly with some really ghostly vocals.

Closer 'Turtle Eggs/An Optimist' is neither here nor there; an experiment in ambient and the introspective which leaves you feeling empty, as if to say 'is that it?' Back to the drawing board for Califone, as this album requires more than stitches to piece it together.

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