Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet




I'm sorry, Charlie Parr. It's not you, it's me. My ears just aren't developed enough to understand what you're doing, so your talents are wasted on me. I mean, I know you're making sounds on a guitar, and I know that Alan Sparhawk is accompanying you on guitar. I'm thinking this is some kind of improvisation rather than a set of pre-composed pieces. But I can't figure out what would make any of it interesting to other listeners.

I can't identify melody, or harmony, or rhythmic structure. There is no single instrumental voice to follow. I can't distinguish a progression, or figure out what makes this endless strumming something more directed than random. But these are all my faults, Charlie Parr, not yours.

To my ears, this is all appetizer without ever getting to entrée. Maybe the starts of these 5 pieces would work as the intro to something, but they drag on and on without resolving. It might work as music for a film, played under a sad little montage of a job applicant being rejected over and over and over again. And over again. At 42 minutes, this is fairly short for a CD (I understand it is also available on vinyl, so that's all that would fit), but I kept hoping it was over, and it wasn't. One day I'll learn to appreciate this.

According to Chaperone Records, Charlie Parr is known for folk and for roots music, and has quite a following, both within his home state of Minnesota and throughout the world.

--Gerald Etkind

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.