March 24, 2015

Album of the Month: Murder By Death - Big Dark Love (February 2015)

February was a tough month to pick a "favorite" album. For the shortest month of the year, it was jam-packed with solid releases (a few other highlights are noted below).

Big Dark Love wins by a nose in no small part because I caught MBD as they passed San Francisco at The Independent and the new tracks passed the "live test" with flying colors. I am of course a long-time fan of this five-piece band, but I manage to continue to learn new ways to enjoy this group.

On Big Dark Love the sound is fuller and more complex, moving much further away from the early, grittier punk/rockabilly roots. Here at QuickCrit, we've lamented that this is sometimes the swan song of a band's authenticity and down-home flare that made us like the band in the first place (Kings of Leon, for example). However, I don't have that same feeling with this album and band. My favorite song, "Send Me Home" (playable below), captures most of the elements that I really like about this album and MBD in general dating back to their earlier days -- prominent baritone vocals, sing-a-long hooks, clean, well-paced instrumentation, and of course, the heartfelt, dark, and touching (although the song is surprisingly uplifting) vocals. I've come to realize that Murder By Death is not for everyone, which is fine... it is still perfect for me.

Other favorites from the second month of the year included:
  • José González's Vestiges & Claws
  • The Dø's Shake Shook Shaken
  • Songhoy Blues's Music in Exile 
  • The Districts's A Flourish and a Spoil


Nightrain said...

Any other favorites from February 2015?