(10.2007, Dead Oceans)
We have often discussed dueling reviews here at Forest Gospel but have yet to find an album for which we held widely divergent views while maintaining similar interest levels. I think Phosphorescent's Pride is now the first instance where this has been the case. We have both been sincerely interested and now, after viewing Sassigrass' review, have differing views on the album at hand. A burst of meandering avant country, Phosphorescent's third album should be the album to breakout him out of his previous undercover status. Lulling you away into a dream land, the album is brimming with atmosphere and space in its nooks and crannies. Phosphorescent is no hurry. Each track carries layers and layers of almost choral vocals from Phosphorescent and friends creating an organic entity that flows like a powerful stream. The effect is beautiful and beguiling. The album manages to haunt without being scary and sooth without being soft, finding that sharp edge between overly accessibility and alienation. In contrast to Sassigrass, I feel that "Wolves" is perhaps one of the most charming tracks. As one of the singular songs that has Phosphorescent leaning on his sole vocals without the choral layering, "Wolves" embodies the strength of his voice when stripped of embellishment. Each track reveals something new, something different making Pride an easy album to listen to from start to finish. In an admission, Pride can become a little belabored toward the end but manages to hold onto its vitality solely because of the strength of Phosphorescent's voice. Not perfect, but definitely worth the attention it seems to be getting as of late.