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'When the Devil's Loose,' A.A. Bondy

Sad music for sad people

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Maybe it’s because I’ve been dreaming in Southern Gothic lately. Fantasizing Tennessee Williams and Boo Radley. I wanted A.A. Bondy to be the soundtrack to all of that — the beat to my humid Iron & Wine daydreams. Sadly, it wasn’t.

This record, Bondy’s second, has its bright spots. Track one, “Mightiest of Guns,” showcases his crystal-clear vocals over a calm acoustic. And then track three, the laconic, waterlogged “To the Morning,” slows the record down to a nearly silent standstill. It’s dramatic, detached and makes the boldest statement of the entire record. But that’s where its depth ends. Overall, When the Devil’s Loose is painfully generic. It’s a record you could hear more than once without ever really hearing at all. To me, it’s sad music. Not sad in a painful, Vic Chesnutt kind of way; it’s sad to me in the way that people actually like this kind of music.

DOWNLOAD: “To the Morning”

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