Ken Stringfellow

Danzig in the Moonlight

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Ken Stringfellow, despite an eight-year drought between solo albums, has kept himself busy since 2004's well-received Soft Commands by playing with R.E.M. and a re-formed Big Star and releasing an EP, a new Posies record, and two albums with his Norwegian garage rock outfit the Disciplines. Released in 2012, Danzig in the Moonlight finds the venerable singer/songwriter tossing all of those experiences into the soup pot and serving up a real horn of plenty. Recorded in Brussels and employing an international smorgasbord of guest musicians, Stringfellow's fourth solo outing is as riveting as it is willfully schizophrenic, incorporating elements of progressive art rock, country, soul, R&B, and straight-up Posies-inspired jangle pop without a care in the world, resulting in his most daring studio offering to date. Opening with the temperamental "Jesus Was an Only Child," which halfway through decides to abandon its dreamy, Elbow-esque trajectory for a rakish electro-pop backside that sounds like Marc Bolan fronting Pulp, Danzig in the Moonlight feels like a beloved bedroom project gone viral, and while it might not always work, there's never any telling what daydream/nightmare may lurk around the corner. If anything, Stringfellow fans of every persuasion can walk away with at least one or two prizes, from the breezy AOR bliss of "You're the Gold" and "History Buffs" to the White Album-ready "Even the Forgers Were Left Fingering the Fakes," the dissonant John Cage-meets Radiohead mysticism of "Odorless, Colorless, Tasteless," and the flirty, candy-coated retro-pop of "Doesn't It Remind You of Something," the latter of which is a duet with the Head and the Heart's Charity Rose Thielen.

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