Oh Mighty Engine (Neil Halstead)

Oh Mighty Engine (Neil Halstead)

     
 

While no one was watching, Neil Halstead has become one of the most reliable singer/songwriters around. First with shoegaze heroes Slowdive and then with the always excellent Mojave 3, he's been crafting lovely melodies and quietly hooky tunes like some kind of machine that runs (and runs) on broken hearts, melancholy glances, and teardrops. His first solo album,… See more details below

Overview

While no one was watching, Neil Halstead has become one of the most reliable singer/songwriters around. First with shoegaze heroes Slowdive and then with the always excellent Mojave 3, he's been crafting lovely melodies and quietly hooky tunes like some kind of machine that runs (and runs) on broken hearts, melancholy glances, and teardrops. His first solo album, Sleeping on Roads, was a lush and warm almanac of hushed vocals and Nick Drake-inspired songcraft that typically slipped under the radar. His second solo album, Oh! Mighty Engine, released on fellow surfer Jack Johnson's Brushfire imprint, features a similarly laid-back sound built mainly on Halstead's nylon-stringed guitar but with plenty of piano, pedal steel, and atmosphere in the mix. The vibe throughout the record is pure summer afternoon when the warmth of the sun gets you in its grip and won't let go, leaving a quiet strum and some melancholic nostalgia as the only options. Each song conjures up this feeling, one after another as the album unspools. There are no moments of clamor, and no raised voices. Instead, the record relies on Halstead's gently comforting voice and light touch to set the mood, and settles for nice turns of phrase and a good-natured calm to get the emotions across. Like most of his post-Slowdive work, this album isn't going to win Halstead too much favor critically or commercially, but anyone who holds songcraft, emotional restraint, and melodic grace in high regard should give the peaceful and sincere Oh! Mighty Engine a chance. It's ranks right up there with Halstead's best work, which is saying plenty.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/29/2008
Label:
Brushfire Records
UPC:
0602517784406
catalogNumber:
001161002
Rank:
287086

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