Monsters Of Folk/Monsters Of Folk

Monsters Of Folk are an Alternative Rock Supergroup that first came to fruition in 2004. Because of individual commitments from the band members, it was 2009 before the first effort could be released. Monsters Of Folk are Jim James [My Morning Jacket], solo artist M. Ward and Bright Eyes members Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis.

Dear God [Sincerely M.O.F.]—-From the onset, this song came as a surprise to me…the track is based in electronica and carries a heavy 70’s R&B vibe, The vocal of James is unmistakable and classically beautiful. The song is a layered affair with depth and emotion. The voices trade off, back and forth in a masterful way and to a great effect. This is wonderful.

Losin’ To Head—-Much more electric and ‘jammy’, the influence of vocalist James is written all over this track. The song has a nice Alt-Rock feel but manages to capture a Blues element at the same time. A nice change and inserted at the right place on the release.

Magic Marker—-Delving back into a familiar Alt-Country feel, the band manages to deliver a song that is so heavy on the lyrics you are left with many words and your own conclusions as you continue to digest the song long after the player stops or moves on. the song has certain elements that will immediately take a place in your brain…ahhh….the beautiful therapy of brilliant music.

Map Of The World—-If this does not remind you of late 60’s era Simon & Garfunkel, there is something radically wrong with you musical expansive abilities. This is beautiful, almost fun despite the lyrics and damn catchy. The harmonies on this track are pitch perfect and the music goes from louder to sedate at a moment’s notice. Fantastic!!!

The Sandman, The Brakeman And Me—-The song shows the strong abilities of the members of this band to tell a remarkable story in a short time. The lyrics are vivid and reminds one of classic Nebraska era Springsteen….this is true Americana. Wonderful, the vocal is at the front of the mix while the guitar is second and then a vast beautiful backdrop of assorted sounds that make the song this large, thick storybook. WOW!!!

His Master’s Voice—-James delivers a vocal that is without compare. The guitar is very quiet…the voice so pur and intricate it becomes the true instrument of the song. The vocal harmonies are subtle but serve to make pieces of the song unforgettable and masterful. This is brilliant, there really are no words to describe it…let your ears and your brain decide for you…I trust it will not let you down!!!

Say Please—-With a nice throwback sound that reminds me of the classic 60’s, the song certainly lives up to the name of the band. This is a nice folky affair that is full of vocal harmonies, some excellent electric guitar and a drum track that is the very front of the mix. The voices come together very nicely….this is awesome!!!

Whole Lotta Losin’—-With a nice jangly guitar sound, the song is again hooked in the classic 60’s era of harmonies and feel good pop masterpieces. The song does manage to mix in a nice bit of Americana and a slight country vibe….who could ask for more. This is damn near brilliant!!!

Temazcal—-Silted in a deeper, more melancholic feel at the start, the song has a certain atmospheric quality that allows you to daydream and wander as the song continues. The song literally swirls with solace and sadness….the vocal harmonies are perfect and sound as if they were practised for eons to get this right. There are no negatives to this track…it gets a big, fat A+ from me…..I love this!

The Right Place—-From the very first vocal the song makes me think of Dwight Yoakem. The song is loaded with that nice Country/Bluegrass mix of music that hearkens back to the days of classic country. This is freakin’ brilliant and very diverse considering the first song on this release. Brilliant, fabulous and damn catchy. Who can ask for more?

Baby Boomer—-Wow…..this release is all over the map and it just makes me love it even more. This song plays like a lost Simon & Garfunkel track…..the vocal is that magnificent. The music is a nice cross between pop stylings and throw back Country…this is relaxing, fun and energetic all at the same time even though the lyric remains a rather sad delivery of emotions.

Man Named Truth—-Again, the vocal harmonies are exquisite….the Paul Simon comparisons ca not be helped. The instrumentation sounds surprisingly calm considering all of the different personalities in the band….this is diverse, different and contains something for everyone.

Goodway—-Full of Honky Tonk stylings, Ward is a masterful vocalist and he really shines on this track. The mandolin and the steel guitar is full of whine and charm. This is incredible…pleasant and disturbing, catchy and classic. Would really love to see this band!!!

Ahead Of The Curve—-Conor again gives his best Simon impression…there seems to be some overlays of the vocal that beef it up until the harmonies enter and round out the song wonderfully well. This is pleasant…more straight forward Alternative radio friendly delivery. I liked this track from the first listen and it has only grown on me over the past days. Nice!!!

Slow Down Jo—-Ward delivers a vocal that is so sedate and quiet…maybe he should join Low!! Just kidding…really. This song is a drudge crawl through the fog as you wait for the sunrise to become your savior. The harmonies give the song a nice lift at the ‘chorus’ at least allowing you to breathe through the beauty of the voice of Ward.

***** out of 5 [Sorry….somehow some of my track reviews got switched around so the track list is not in order…I apologize.]


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