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Thursday, November 1, 2007

In the Vines

Posted on Thu, Nov 1, 2007 at 4:00 AM

In the Vines
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Length: LP
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: In the Vines
Castanets front guy Raymond Raposa grew up in San Diego and today calls New York City home, but his singing voice is distinctly Southern – lonesome and heavy with foreboding portent. In the Vines, his group’s latest effort, feels like a C&W album that refuses to meet the expectations of that label; that is, rich, textured, lush and dark. Dour acoustic shuffles tailspin headlong into static-y dead-ends (“Rain Will Come”) or emerge from lazy electronic cat’s cradles (“Three Months Paid”) with no urgency whatsoever; instead, an easy nonchalance oozes from every string section, horn chart or other instrumental element that surfaces. “I am swimming, I am climbing, I am diving,” Raposa confides near the end, as synth beats butterfly steadily through pedal-steel tides. That hushed, declarative statement doubles nicely as a metaphor for Vines itself and for the many listeners who will find in it a restful locale not entirely beholden to any specific region.

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