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Smog: Red Apple Falls
Smog: Red Apple Falls
turnover time:2024-06-22 04:33:13

For those who haven't heard of Smog, it's a prolific, essentially one-man band featuring brooding singer/multi-instrumentalist Bill Callahan. Over time, Smog's many releases have evolved from scratchy, low-fidelity basement tapes to elegant, cohesive collections of full-band ballads, and the new Red Apple Falls is Callahan's most well-rounded album to date. Somehow, despite its drawn-out pace and downbeat tone, it never merely slogs, instead creating beauty out of melancholy. Obvious reference points range from old (Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Lou Reed) to new (Red House Painters, East River Pipe), and as always, Smog fits comfortably into that hallowed company. Callahan's stately arrangements and stark songwriting make it hard to believe that he can crank out at least one of these things a year: From "Blood Red Bird" to "Red Apples," the songs here ooze color, and they seem to be patched together with time-consuming care. It's not exactly uplifting, but it's remarkably consistent, and fans will be justifiably thrilled with it.

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