Damaged

Damaged

by Lambchop
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

After blending country, soul, smoky jazz, and the wonderfully eccentric lyrical observations of singer-songwriter Kurt Wagner for more than a decade, Lambchop add a rich new layer of atmosphere on Damaged. Now, no fewer than four members of the band's ever-shifting roster are credited with electronics, including the duo Hands Off Cuba -- also collaborators with

Overview

After blending country, soul, smoky jazz, and the wonderfully eccentric lyrical observations of singer-songwriter Kurt Wagner for more than a decade, Lambchop add a rich new layer of atmosphere on Damaged. Now, no fewer than four members of the band's ever-shifting roster are credited with electronics, including the duo Hands Off Cuba -- also collaborators with Lambchop on a recent EP -- who tweak several tracks here with their glitchy samples and bridge the songs with evocative interludes. But no less important to the album's sound are the warm string arrangements, the careful dollops of trombone and steel guitar, and the cascading piano solos, all wrapping themselves around Wagner's near-whispered croon with results as hauntingly hushed as 2002's Is a Woman. If Damaged lives up to its title with a flaw on the surface, it's that the expansive first track, "Paperback Bible" -- possibly a wry ode to eBay, with Wagner searching for and selling back a used copy of the Good Book -- is such a delectable taste of Lambchop's latest sonic recipe that it's hard to follow. Yet many of the songs live up to its promise, from the cocktail-jazz waltz of "Prepared [2]" to the almost-spoken-word finale, "The Decline of Country and Western Civilization," where a cranky Wagner casts a withering glance at the musical culture around him, saving special disdain for the "pitchfork I-rock saviors." Wagner notes on another track that "it seems impossible / To understand a man like me" -- perhaps acknowledging his often cryptic way with words -- but the real reason Lambchop won't ever be mistaken for Nashville's more mainstream product is that this band's imagination so gleefully disobeys all the usual musical boundaries.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
After the ambitious sweep of releasing two full albums on a single day in 2004 and creating a collaborative electronic EP with Hands Off Cuba while assembling a collection of singles and rarities in 2005, one can hardly blame Kurt Wagner and his partners in Lambchop for wanting to take on a less challenging project for the group's ninth album proper. And indeed, Damaged is a simpler and more streamlined effort than Lambchop have offered over their last several releases. Damaged is a set of ten elegant tone poems which rarely call full attention to the size and scope of the 15-person ensemble (enhanced with a string section) employed for these sessions. But don't get the idea Wagner and his cohorts have gotten lazy; Damaged is as moving and accomplished an album as this band has ever made, with the subtle but expert musicianship used in the service of a handful of songs which look deep into the heart of longing, disappointment, and the troubling mysteries of faith. If you're hoping for an easy-to-follow narrative from Wagner's songs, you'll be disappointed, but through a collection of accumulated, gestured, offhand asides and occasional confessions of weakness, he creates a world that's telling, poignant, and as real as the dust in the air on a Sunday morning. And the mighty Lambchop ensemble approaches the melodies with the care and dynamics of a great orchestra, where each note is carefully balanced as if it was assembling a house of cards that can miraculously balance a grand piano. While Lambchop's country gestures recede a bit on Damaged, as a master class in the art and craft of record-making in the great Nashville tradition, this album is a true wonder, a quiet and deliberate recording that cumulatively hits with a massive emotional impact. This ranks with the best work of one of America's most original musical visionaries.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/22/2006
Label:
Merge Records
UPC:
0673855028422
catalogNumber:
50284
Rank:
191910

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lambchop   Primary Artist
Matt Swanson   Bass,Electric Bass
Sam Baker   Drums
Kurt Wagner   Guitar,Vocals
Alex McManus   Guitar
Tony Crow   Piano
Gary Tussing   Cello
Paul Niehaus   Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar
Roy Agee   Trombone
Deanna Varagona   Baritone Saxophone
Marc William Trovillion   electronics
Jonathan Marx   electronics
Ames Asbell   Viola
Ben Westney   Cello
William Tyler   Guitar
Ryan Norris   Keyboards,electronics
Bruce Colson   Violin
Scott Martin   Drums,electronics

Technical Credits

Mark Nevers   Engineer
Kurt Wagner   Composer
Tony Crow   Composer
Jonathan Marx   Interlude
Peter Stopchinski   String Arrangements
Ryan Norris   Interlude
James Burdine   Engineer
Doctor Matt Gorham   Photo Courtesy
Scott Martin   Interlude
Berthold Seliger   Photo Courtesy

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >