Much like on his solo debut a couple years earlier, Jason Molina sheds both the band name and the full band sound on Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go, providing his always intense, personal accounts of devastation and alienation with an intimate setting to match. It's almost as if he uses his position of solitude as an opportunity to excise songs that are too unstable to fit in with Magnolia Electric Co.'s more rock-oriented domain, laying them down with brooding precision while making them feel like unrehearsed first takes. Given ample breathing room, his music unravels with a particularly haunting urgency, most of all due to Molina's singularly plaintive voice, which is as nuanced as it is powerful. Amidst ambient sounds like inexplicable background voices and creaky chairs, the songs fade in and out with little warning, as somber ruminations operating at the same level as the narrator's own confusion and uncertainty. Molina's characters -- always delivered through a first-person voice -- are often in the midst of disastrous defeat, in a position of despair before utter failure but after the point of no return. On album standout "Get Out, Get Out, Get Out," for example, the lyrics offer that repeated advice "before there's nothing left of us," even though it's clearly too late. He fills out his songs by contextualizing these hollowed out lives with constant imagery from the natural world -- the prairie dawn, the ocean, rain, the "moon above my life" -- and more than once the notion of burning maps comes up, creating the sense that the narrator is unavoidably tied to the surroundings from which he wants to escape. Despite the deliberately subdued pace, there is an undeniable sense of subtle build in the latter half of the album which heightens the energy level while upholding the same sense of woozy melancholia: the final three tracks find Molina gradually adding simple drum loops, an organ, and a piano, and finally a blistering electric guitar on the title track that comes across like a wounded animal, an encapsulation of all the torment endured through the course of the album. Jason Molina is skilled at channeling powerfully bleak emotions -- for his sake, you hope that he draws more from imagination than from personal experience.
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AllMusic Review by Ben Peterson