Vetiver, Complete Strangers - album review

Download: Stranger Still; Current Carry;  Loose Ends

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The Independent Culture

Although an improvement on 2011’s The Errant Charm, this finds Vetiver mainman Andy Cabic struggling to impose greater definition on his sun-bleached West Coast throwback style.

His soft-rock leanings lend themselves well to the folksy sambas of “Shadows Lane” and “Time Flies By” – imagine Jeb Loy Nichols arranged by Sergio Mendes – while the Balearic Beat influence and ethereal sax break creeping into “Stranger Still” give it the languid appeal of 808 State. But elsewhere, familiar soft harmonies and glistening guitars still dominate songs of love, freedom and escape.

The input of co-producer Thom Monahan is the decisive factor, his resonant textures and treatments crucial to the album’s tone of glacial warmth: “Time Flies By” and “Edgar” have a comforting, furry charm, oddly evocative of the fur coats once worn by Crosby, Stills and Nash.