Michael Talbott & The Wolfkings

Freeze-Die-Come to Life

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Learning that Michael Talbott grew up listening to British folk-rock offers a clue to his folk musings on Freeze-Die-Come to Life, but this fact shouldn't obscure the contemporary nature of the Wolfkings' music. It becomes evident, as "Winter Streets" ebbs into "Gray Day," that the band has woven together a careful, delicate folk tapestry out of careful arrangements and vocal harmony. What makes both songs such a delight is the easy flow that suspends a mood without ever becoming moody, as though the band has found a way to combine the free-flowing buoyancy of older folk-rock with contemporary concerns. "The Passenger II" (which comes before "The Passenger I" for whatever reason), on the other hand, seems to lose this connection with a muffled, depressed vocal. With its slow, Pink Floyd unplugged pacing, Freeze-Die-Come to Life's songs also begin to blend into one another before midway point. "Goodnight," for instance, has a lovely arrangement, and an interesting chord progression on the chorus, but it moves along so gently for six minutes that it's easy, at some point, to allow it to fade into the background. There are so many different instruments used by so many people on Freeze-Die-Come to Life that it would've been nice to have a song-by-song breakdown, but the lack thereof will not impede the enjoyment of the album.

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