The American Analog Set

The Golden Band

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The Golden Band reduces the American Analog Set's approach to its barest essentials -- favoring shorter, more economical songs over the epics of past outings, the group's third album also strips away much of their cosmic veneer to reveal the human pulse which tethers Andrew Kenny's songs and keeps them from floating away. The effect is hardly less hypnotic than earlier AmAnSet efforts, but is simply more direct -- while Kenny's hushed vocals and oblique lyrics still evoke first and foremost an eyes-wide-shut otherness, the record insinuates itself on the strength of a subtly expanded emotional palette which lends a haunting new dimension to the group's fragile beauty. And while songs like "Weather Report" and "A Schoolboy's Charm" still don't build toward any kind of conventional climax, they nevertheless boast a drama and tension all their own. Ultimately, The Golden Band's quiet power speaks volumes.

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