Dead Man's Bones, 'Dead Man's Bones' (Anti-)

6
Dead Man's Bones
Critical Mass
Label: Anti-

by David Bevan

Hollywood brooder Ryan Gosling doesn't reverse the rule that actors make dubious pop musicians (see Keanu, Jared Leto, ScarJo), but his rickety collaboration with budding thespian Zach Shields has an undeniable dark charm. At its best, the duo's debut shambles along like a Tom Waits-led, Tim Burton-produced Halloween recital -- "My Body's a Zombie for You" and "Lose Your Soul" (both featuring the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir) are particularly spooky piano forays that, thanks to elegant arrangements, don't sag under the face-painted novelty of it all.

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