Saturday, 10 March 2012

Review: Anais Mitchell

Anais Mitchell – Young Man in America (Wilderland Records)
To follow 2010’s critically acclaimed “Hadestown” Anais Mitchell has again engaged producer Todd Sickafoose and surrounded herself with some of Brooklyn’s finest rock and experimental jazz musicians. The result, “Young Man in America” is a powerful album of progressive Americana that is informed, in equal parts, by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Tori Amos and various folk traditions, and steers away from intrinsic singer-songwriter territory.

It’s filled with impressive arrangements, rich vocal harmonies, epitomised by the mandolin led, “Dyin’ Day”, and pleasant ballads, like the breathy, stark, “Coming Down”. It is, however, those tracks where horns, electronica or subtle inclusions of found sound figure that make for the stand out tracks: “Young Man in America”, “You Are Forgiven” and the marvelous closer “Ships.”

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