Philip Selway, 'Familial' (Nonesuch)

Critical Mass
Label: Nonesuch

by christopherschultz

For someone drumming in the world's most successful experimental band, the first solo record from Radiohead's Phil Selway is remarkably plain. As with most fragile indie folk recorded in the past two decades, the hooks come from The Bends's playbook, but they're bogged down by Selway's Nick Drake–via-trip-hop whispery croon and a grab bag of awkward metaphors ("There's a black dog down in the basement / He's barking out my name"). Still, the man obviously knows drums, and Wilco's Glenn Kotche helps suffuse everything with exotic brush sputter, mysterious rattles, and wholly absorbing, ghostly clatter.



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