Reviews coming in for Dean Wareham’s solo album

Dean Wareham’s new album, released next week on Double Feature and Sonic Cathedral has been getting good reviews in print and online – here I’ll collect a few – please feel free to add any others you may find in the comments (or email them to me if you prefer).

I think Ira finds it rather sad

Here’s a review posted by Terry Tolkin (who signed Luna to Elektra all those years back, and has a chapter all of his own in Black Postcards) on Facebook

It’s a nine-piece set of glorious tunes produced by Jim James. I think that it comes out later this month. The lyrics flow and interplay like a DNA helix. It’s a song cycle that, to me, touches every stage of his recording career. References repeat resoundingly. The lyrics here can collide, disperse and recombine in ways that remind me of the structure of the first half a dozen Van Morrison solo albums. I kinda feel like I’ve had these very same thoughts myself but Dean has stitched them all loosely together like a Crazy Quilt. One that only makes perfect sense when you stand back and look at it as a whole. He’s always been able to say so much while using only a scarcity of carefully chosen words from his quiver.
Scattered amongst these songs is some of the most intricate and exciting guitar work he’s ever recorded.

UK glossy Mojo gives it four stars

Luna’s obsessive valve-amp loveliness is here supplanted by a more varied spread : opener The Dancer Disappears – Dean attempts to corral a disco track from the chords to Glen Campbell’s Mary In The Morning – contrasts ’80s synthesized beats with Wareham’s Velvets style arpeggios. It’s hardly disco, but it’s lovely.

Rolling Stone in the US gives it three and a half stars

Dean Wareham has finally released a solo album. The singer-guitarist’s trademark slow, rhythmic chug and wry worldview are both here, as appealing as ever, and Jim James’ warm production renders these songs equivalent of cozy Danish modern furniture – all clean lines and earth tones.

UK glossy UNCUT gives it 7 out of 10

[Dean Wareham is] someone who so deftly carved out a niche in the world of independent music, it’s difficult to begrudge him the simple pleasures of writing beautiful songs, year in, year out. But tightrope walking between familiarity and homogeneity carries its own risks. On Dean Wareham, his first proper solo album after 2013’s Emancipated Hearts mini-LP, he mostly navigates it well.

Italy – Ondarock gived it 7

La carriera solista vera e propria di Dean – mai finita a dire il vero anche dopo lo scioglimento dei Galaxie 500 – sembra essere iniziata col botto, dopo l’Ep (in realtà più corto di questo esordio di solo un paio di tracce, di cui una presa in prestito dall’amico Michael Holland dei Jennyanykind) di dicembre. Alla produzione qui Jim James dei My Morning Jacket sostituisce Jason Quever dei Papercuts , e sceglie per questo Lp omonimo un aspetto decisamente più convenzionale (ma anche generalmente più fedele alla personalità artistica del suo autore), levigando ogni asperità dopo l’ammiccamento al dream-pop indipendente di “Emancipated Hearts”.
Cinematografica è infine la chiusura di flebili impressioni metropolitane, notturne, di “Happy And Free”: Dean si allontana in taxi su un ponte illuminato, ma sul comodino ci ha lasciato uno dei dischi del cuore di quest’anno.

French magazine Magic RPM gives the album 4 dots…. out of six!?

Autres Directions

Et il en est ainsi à chacune de ces neuf chansons parfaites, indémodables. Les mélodies euphorisantes se font gentiment bousculer par une instrumentation touffue et psychédélique : Dean Wareham endosse alors de nouveau son costume de doublure policé du Lou Reed du Velvet Underground ou de Tom Verlaine période Marquee Moon (Television – 1977). Dans le fond aucune surprise donc, si ce n’est celle de retrouver un vieil ami à un tel niveau de forme.

Head off to Dean Wareham’s website, Sonic Cathedral, iTunes, Amazon, or your favoured brick or online record emporium to pre-order your copy ahead of next week’s release.

One thought on “Reviews coming in for Dean Wareham’s solo album”

  1. January was a long month, made even longer by the fact that Dean’s new full length album won’t be released until March, so it was an unexpected delight to find a copy of his new effort waiting on my doorstep … which was scooped up and on the player before I had a chance to exhale.

    Dean’s created an airy expansive sound here, one recorded with and in the home of Jim James of My Morning Jacket, along with Britta Phillips and Anthony La Marca. I remembered him saying that everyone was set up in different rooms, and that it was one of the more pleasant recording sessions he’s ever had. While his 2013 outing, Emancipated Hearts, was subdued and totally introspective, this adventure, though reflective, truly is emancipated, bright and shiny, filled with a sophistication and structure that goes down easy, at times channeling Luna B-Sides, and with a new tenor to his voice. The songs still have that lazy feel, and even when over, manage to flow into the next track, creating a wide awake dreamy atmosphere, visionary lyrics, light handed effects, and some delightful surprises. As always, Anthony LaMarca’s [who now plays with War On Drugs] drumming is perfection, at times harking back to that big rhythmic sound that Luna was known for. Then there’s Britta’s heartfelt bass, played with an undercurrent of simplicity, and blending with a symphonic ease.

    This is a man who’s career is rich and long, this is a man who’s still standing, this is a man who’s still bringing new visions and values to his music, while so many other indie artists have gone home, rearranged their sock drawer, and are living the normal life. Just listen to “Holding Pattern” or “My Eyes Are Blue” … certainly songs about the need to keep on keeping on. For Dean, it’s not about doing what he’s doing because this is all he knows, it’s about doing what he does, because this is all he wants to do.

    Post Script: And here, on yellow vinyl, my brand new Thorens turntable has never looked better.

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