Damien Jurado

Rehearsals for Departure

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In the rush to embrace the latest next-big-things, it's artists like Damien Jurado who much too often get lost in the shuffle. Once upon a time, a singer/songwriter of Jurado's depth and grace would have been anointed "the new Dylan," but today he's lucky if his brand of darkly beautiful folk-pop gets noticed at all. Rehearsals for Departure, Jurado's second full-length effort for Sub Pop, deserves a much better fate. A gifted lyricist with a comparable knack for melody, his songs are simple but remarkably affecting, with an uncanny knack for unlocking the deeper meaning in the mundane details of everyday life. Highlights like the opening "Ohio" and "Letters and Drawings" are evocative portraits of urban malaise, while the rollicking "Honey Baby" sounds like nothing so much as a long-lost honky tonk classic.

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