Had Andrew Whiteman never attempted to play the Cuban guitar, let alone stay eight weeks on an island in the Caribbean Sea, Apostle of Hustle might not have come to be. Apostle of Hustle allowed him to expand his indie rock palate into a nocturnal sphere of Latin music and post rock/experimental threads for what is the mind-bending soundscape of Folkloric Feel. It's complimentary to the various Broken Social Scene offshoots -- Valley of the Giants and Stars -- but also a connection of sorts to Whiteman's personal background and interests. The album's title track highlights the overall cinematic backdrop from the start; sweeping percussion arrangements from Dean Stone and Julian Brown's treading upright bass delivery carries Whiteman's achingly beautiful sentiments of love, truth, and wonder. Select members from the Arts & Crafts recording family -- Brendan Canning, Evan Cranley, Feist, Kevin Drew, Amy Milan, Dave Newfeld, and Lucy Bain -- add to the mesmerizing dynamic of Folkloric Feel. From Newfeld's streamlined production to Drew's chilled piano sounds to Feist's charming harmonies on "King & Queens" and "Animal Fat," Folkloric Feel is a love fantasy. Hushing acoustic guitars creep along to the electric riffs of "Sleepwalking Ballad" for an eerie, yet radiant Jeff Buckley-like moment. "Baby, You're in Luck," which borrows from Toronto singer/songwriter Alex Lukashevsky's "Tammy Twococks," frolics with sparse Latin shades and Milan's icy vocals for the album's darkest, heartbreaking narrative. Apostle of Hustle offers an abstract, poetic design and fluid emotional illustrations a plenty on this album. Whiteman's personal honesty and seriousness for fleshing out what's in his head (and his heart) is what makes Folkloric Feel a stunning 2004 release. Apostle of Hustle is Whiteman's chance to be a storyteller and Folkloric Feel is his fairy tale.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson