With a background that includes an adjunct membership in the twee indie outfit Oh No! Oh My! and a stint as keyboardist in Appalachian rural psychedelicists Sparklehorse, Tim Regan clearly has an all-encompassing aesthetic. The debut album by his sideline project Antenna Shoes, The Generous Gambler is fundamentally a one-man band album, but Regan's overdubbed solo recordings are so enriched by strings, horns, and other outside contributions that it lacks the hermetic feel that bedevils many similar projects. Songs like the expansive "Wait," with its funky Hammond organ, slide guitars, and full horn section, have the vibe of a modern updating of The Last Waltz, with Regan's authentic Tennessee twang bringing the vintage Southern rock feel home. Elsewhere, "Nonsense" drives its harder-rocking point home with waves of distortion and a heavily processed lead vocal, and "Bitches in the City" is powered by a glitchy dance beat and multiple electronic drones. And just to make things even more eclectic, and to back up the concept that this is a band and not just a solo effort, the tightly wound new wave rocker "Je Te Dis Oualis" features a lead vocal from one Elodie Lafonte. In some hands, The Generous Gambler would sound annoyingly unfocused, but Regan's knack for constructing varied but complementary arrangements for each song makes a virtue of its rampant eclecticism.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason