Dark Developments

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Athens, GA isn't that big a town, so it's not surprising that Vic Chesnutt would cross paths with fellow hometowners Elf Power, or that he might invite them over to his house to make some music. What is surprising is how well their styles mesh on Dark Developments, a collaborative album recorded at Chesnutt's home studio. Like Chesnutt's excellent The Salesman and Bernadette which he recorded with Lambchop as his backing band, Dark Developments is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, as the frontman manages to bring out something new and richly satisfying in his musicians, and vice-versa. Elf Power's bright semi-psychedelic pop instincts brighten the corners of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Athens, GA isn't that big a town, so it's not surprising that Vic Chesnutt would cross paths with fellow hometowners Elf Power, or that he might invite them over to his house to make some music. What is surprising is how well their styles mesh on Dark Developments, a collaborative album recorded at Chesnutt's home studio. Like Chesnutt's excellent The Salesman and Bernadette which he recorded with Lambchop as his backing band, Dark Developments is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, as the frontman manages to bring out something new and richly satisfying in his musicians, and vice-versa. Elf Power's bright semi-psychedelic pop instincts brighten the corners of Chesnutt's sometimes dour melodies, and Chesnutt's playfully expansive, literate songs encourage the band to add some deeper sonic colors that wouldn't normally make their way into their work. Dark Developments also finds Chesnutt near the top of his form as a singer, with his lyrics getting an emotive and well-considered reading that's dramatic but never histrionic, and these songs boast a melodic concision that's a genuine change of pace after the grand-scale structures of Ghetto Bells and North Star Deserter. Dark Developments is a more approachable album than Chesnutt has made in a while, but he's hardly dumbed himself down; this music is as proudly eccentric as ever, and songs like "Little Fucker," "We Are Mean," and "Bilocating Dog" are sterling examples of Chesnutt's singular lyrical perspective, but the members of Elf Power lend an undertow of aural curiosity that's welcoming rather than off-putting, and the result is a small triumph of artfully applied Southern quirkiness. Fans of Chesnutt, Elf Power, or smart and adventurous pop music in general should put this one on their shopping lists.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/14/2008
  • Label: Orange Twin
  • UPC: 656605663128
  • Catalog Number: 31
  • Sales rank: 105,949

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mystery (3:00)
  2. 2 Little Fucker (4:26)
  3. 3 And How (3:08)
  4. 4 Teddy Bear (3:07)
  5. 5 We Are Mean (3:40)
  6. 6 Stop the Horse (3:51)
  7. 7 Bilocating Dog (3:44)
  8. 8 The Mad Passion of the Stoic (7:15)
  9. 9 Phil the Fiddler (7:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elf Power Primary Artist
Sam Harris Bells
Jimmy Hughes Guitar, Vocals
Vic Chesnutt Guitar, Harmonica, Trombone, Keyboards, Vocals, Omnichord, Mouth Trumpet
Eric Harris Bells
Curtiss Pernice Guitar, Vocals
Laura Carter Clarinet, Accordion, Keyboards, Vocals
Andrew Rieger Guitar, Vocals, 12-string Guitar
Sam Mixon Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Tambourine, Vocals
Derek Almstead Bass Guitar, Tambourine, Vocals
Josh Lott Drums, Vocals
Curtiss Pernice Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Vic Chesnutt Composer, Engineer
Laura Carter Cover Design
Derek Almstead Engineer, Mastering
Terry Rowlett Cover Painting
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