Magnolia Electric Co., 'Sojourner' (Secretly Canadian)

6
Sojourner
Critical Mass
Label: Secretly Canadian

by David Marchese

A four-CD-plus-DVD behemoth packaged in a wooden box, Sojourner was recorded in four different locations by Magnolia singer/songwriter Jason Molina with help from a cast including engineer Steve Albini, Cracker's David Lowery, and singer/violinist Andrew Bird. In small doses these acoustic dirges and country-rock laments -- played at tempos that make Crazy Horse sound like Slayer -- pass by indistinctly, but over time, the slow-blooming guitar solos and age-old folkie melodies of tracks like "Bowery" and "Trouble in Mind" reveal their sturdy, dignified strengths.

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