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Review: Doveman, ‘The Conformist’

6
SPIN Rating: 6 of 10
Release Date: October 20, 2009
Label: Brassland

Sufjan Stevens and Sam Beam have shown that singing softly can carry an emotional wallop, and Doveman’s Thomas Bartlett takes that approach to a whispery extreme on his fourth album. At times his voice is barely there, yet it’s always mixed above the instrumentation, much of it tastefully provided by members of the National. Guest singers (Norah Jones, Beth Orton, Glen Hansard) join in — quietly — as the music drifts from shoegaze to country rock to burbling indie pop, but Bartlett navigates his tender terrain with sneaky authority.

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