Quiet to the point of disquieting, Saturday Looks Good to Me's Cruel August Moon is a testament to the transformative power of threadbare emotion. SLGTM main man Fred Thomas may not have the prettiest voice, but he lays it out there, naked and articulate, looking around the room for an honest soul. If you think that sounds like a bit of hyperbole, listen to "Save My Life" and think again. Deceptively simple melodies -- like the lyrics, reduced to the bare minimum needed to get the point across -- recorded in appropriately lo-fi manner add to the bedroom vibe pervading Cruel August Moon. Tape hiss, semi-buried sound atmospherics, and ambient noise interact with Thomas' (primarily) guitar, organ, and drum tunes (though "Last Night I Fell Asleep on Your Floor" features a lovely violin part to accompany the guest vocals of Erika Hoffmann [late of Godzuki] and His Name Is Alive). Thomas gets a little help in the instrumental department from his friends Jessica Bailiff, Warn Defever (His Name Is Alive), and members of Flashpapr, a band in which Thomas also plays. Cruel August Moon is essentially a pop record, but one that embraces quiet more than most and touches base with pop's avant side more than a mere cursory listen could reveal.
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AllMusic Review by Chris Handyside