Posthumous Success CD - FatCat

North Dakota contemporary folkie Tom Brosseau has a new record out. Posthumous Success provides a little elbow room for Brosseau, an opportunity to both open up and flesh out his man with an acoustic guitar game plan. Opener "My Favorite Color Blue" functions as a nod to past work, a slice of contemporary folk that showcases Brosseauís wispy vocals. The manís voice is both his most immediate calling card and something of an acquired taste. From there, the record moves swiftly into band arrangements, electric instrumentation, studio manipulation, and, on "Boot Hill," twangy and lonesome ambient haze. "You Donít Know My Friends," perhaps the least Brosseau-like track here, even pulls deeply on the world of lo-fi indie rock, drumming up some (admittedly polite) guitar scuzz. Prior to this release, Brosseau has always seemed to me something of a white bread Devendra Banhart, but I donít mean that comparison as unfavorably as it reads... maybe heís actually more of an American Damien Rice. But such simile is ultimately meaningless. Itís just that itís been all too easy, really, to dismiss Brosseau up to now as a delicate, me-too latecomer to the resurgent acoustic scene of the new millennium, even if you suspected that something else was lurking under all the fey trappings. With Posthumous Success, the man now has an excellent chance at broadening his appeal, and I suspect that heís acquired it without risking alienation of current fans.

By Michael Meade



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