Carter Tanton, 'Freeclouds' (Western Vinyl)

Critical Mass
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Label: Western Vinyl

by Josh Modell

Carter Tanton -- of the now-defunct Tulsa and still-thriving Lower Dens -- style-jumps so restlessly that his second solo disc sometimes feels like a multi-artist playlist rather than a one-man show. His keening tenor offers a through-line on an album that rushes from R.E.M.-indebted melancholy jangle ("Murderous Joy") to slinky beats ("Gauze of Song") to a Sparklehorse cover. He even dabbles, poorly, in dub reggae on "Pasture Sound." Otherwise, nothing here falls completely flat, but if Tanton would focus more on songs like the insistent, noisy "Horrorscope" -- or settle on any one thing, really -- Freeclouds could cohere. Instead, it's a blur.

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