Kurt Vile, B’lieve I’m Goin Down - album review

Download: Pretty Pimpin’; I’m an Outlaw; That’s Life, Tho (Almost Hate To Say); Lost My Head There; Kidding Around

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The Independent Culture

B’lieve I’m Goin Down sounds like the Mojave Desert brought to musical life – or at least, the sense of light-headed, out-of-body dislocation that can occur in desert climes.

It opens with Kurt Vile experiencing the weightless dissolution of the self as he stares into his bathroom mirror in “Pretty Pimpin’”, while a guitar figure cycles aimlessly around; and continues in similar style through “I’m An Outlaw” and on through the levitation of “Lost My Head There”, where piano, vibes and synth collude in hypnotic momentum.

It’s alienation couched in the most genial manner; and along the way, he gets to muse over such matters as speech and silence, mysticism and medicine, relationships and reality, in a beautifully meandering song-cycle that touches on the genuinely philosophical in “That’s Life, Tho (Almost Hate To Say)” and “Kidding Around”.