Kurt Vile – b’lieve I’m goin down
Perhaps the natural meeting point between the gloomy Smoke Ring For My Halo and 2013’s more robust Wakin On A Pretty Daze, b’lieve I’m going down finds Kurt Vile on suitably languid form, slowly spitting out a series of confessions and self-realised truisms for more than an hour. That this familiar template still manages to sound so completely compelling is testament to both the malleable nature of his craft and the skill with which it's delivered.
Lead track Pretty Pimpin is something of a misdirect; that whimsical smirk is soon replaced with the more downbeat ruminations that we’ve come expect. Elsewhere, Bad Omen is a surprisingly fanciful, sub-three minute ditty while That’s Life, tho is Vile at his reflective best; a distinctly striking moment of dogged acceptance.
It’s in the minor deviations where this record thrives, however, and on the piano-led spiders web of Life Like This and the captivating closer Wild Imagination which drifts on for six minutes of meticulous, Vile shows flashes of a new face that will keep you captivated for far longer. [Tom Johnson]