Friday, February 11, 2011

Pitchfork Reviews KORT and Jessica Lea Mayfield Today

Posted By on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Pitchfork writer and Tennessee native Stephen M. Deusner reviews KORT's Invariable Heartache and Jessica Lea Mayfield's Tell Me today, and the results are a 7.6 and 7.7, respectively; in other words, three-quarters as good as fellow country music-tinged Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Not bad.

Deusner appreciates Mayfield's "eloquently analytical love songs," observing that Tell Me is "as musically assured as it is romantically conflicted," which is a recipe for great music, am I right? Deusner mentions The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach twice, once for producing the album's "snappy immediacy" and also for his guitar work, which "crashes brutally against Mayfield's delicate vocals" — a ravishing affair, not unlike when Zeus, disguised as a bull, raped Europa. Anyways, Auerbach's guitar work is noteworthy on Tell Me, flipping the channel from his usual Junior Kimbrough station to the Chris Isaak network. I know this because I listened to it for free.

Deusner takes a biographical approach to reviewing Invariable Heartache; his first two paragraphs explore the history between Chart Records and Connie Eaton (Cortney Tidwell's mother), a story with which we are all very familiar. Deusner describes Kurt Wagner's voice as an "eccentric take on a cowboy croon," whereas Tidwell performs "a robust, breathy version of a traditional starlet," and the author reverently reduces the effort to "one of Lambchop's more countrified albums." Dude also name-checks Grimey's and The Basement, the former because its crates might be the last sanctuary for Chart Records' original output and the latter because that's where Tidwell and Wagner first sang together (an impromptu cover of Don Williams' "I Believe in You").

P.S. Remember Pitchfork 10 years ago? I do. They used to give out some high scores to some mediocre bands. Incubus' S.C.I.E.N.C.E received an 8.7 and Save Ferris' It Means Everything received a 9.5. Any other hilarious hindsight you'd care to share?

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