Monsters of Folkby Monsters of Folk
When M. Ward, Mike Mogis, Jim James, and Conor Oberst announced plans to record an album together, fans were quick to link the supergroup to the Traveling Wilburys, who blazed a similar path 20 years earlier. Truth be told, Monsters of Folk's emphasis on harmony vocals and atmospheric arrangements has just as much in common with the work of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, even if the political concerns that grounded that group are mostly absent here. Instead, the self-titled Monsters of Folk tackles topics like religion, nature, love, and lust, with all four songwriters sharing vocals and songwriting credits. Mogis, who rose to prominence by playing a central but somewhat surreptitious role in Bright Eyes, receives less screen time than the others, preferring instead to stay behind the scenes as producer and sideman. Even so, his guitar solo during "Say Please" is one of the album's loudest moments, and his production helps draw the album together. That's important, because there are multiple genres at work here, from trip-hop to rootsy rock to homely, homespun pop. Spread over 15 tracks, the combination wears thin at several points, and a few of the songs feel like solo material as opposed to a composite product. Monsters of Folk has moments on flat-out beauty, though, and when the musicians pitch their voices together -- as they do on the gorgeous "Slow Down Jo" -- the teamwork really shines through.
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- Artist First
Performance CreditsMonsters of Folk Primary Artist
Mike Mogis Group Member
M. Ward Group Member
Jim James Group Member
Conor Oberst Group Member
Technical CreditsGary Burden Art Direction
Jenice Heo Art Direction
Mike Mogis Engineer
A.J. Mogis Engineer
Adam Selzer Engineer
Monsters of Folk Composer,Producer
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we've had some impressive releases this year. however, the indie scene legends whose albums have, up until this year, been unique, must owns for any nuanced listener of the avant-gaurde, released deeply disapointing stuff this year (this would include: wilco, modest mouse, death cab, bloc party...etc). i'll have to admit, i'm always skeptical about bright eyes (i feel he's very hit and miss) and i didn't like much of evil urges (though i loved every other release of mmj) this album is one of two MUST OWN indie albums released this year (the other being the new flaming lips). the samples on red-dot really don't do it justice. this is the some of the best writing from all collaborators.
I bought this on a whim, and have been satisfied, but not blown away.
This CD is defiantly worth purchasing. It's souful, playful, and relaxing all at the same time. I just love it, and it's a must have for any folk or indie fans.