Villagers – Becoming a Jackal

Album Review by Alan Souter | 25 May 2010
  • Villagers – Becoming a Jackal
Album title: Becoming a Jackal
Artist: Villagers
Label: Domino
Release date: 24 May


It seems every other week there’s a sensitive soul, acoustic guitar in tow, streams of literary loveliness, and a big burning candle of competence flickering to light up your stereo for better or for worse. Conor J. O’Brien, the brainchild behind Villagers, is the next to glisten. Competence alone won't set the speakers on fire so what relief it is to hear the illuminating beauty that beams from Becoming a Jackal. From the wraithlike arpeggios that accompany I Saw The Dead, the propulsive shuffle of Ship Of Promises, and the stark imagery of Home. O’Brien eclipses his peers with meticulous production on each and every finely tuned lullaby, proving that if the foundations are strong you can layer almost anything on top and it will still stand proud. The results are gorgeous; the lyrics intelligent and provocative, the melodies delicate and diverse, not least on the title track which is an inferno of masterful song-craft. [Alan Souter]


Playing King Tut's, Glasgow on 28 May