Matt Berninger — Serpentine Prison (Oct. 16, 2020)

USA FLAG                                                                                Matt Berninger — Serpentine Prison (Oct. 16, 2020)Matt Berninger — Serpentine Prison (Oct. 16, 2020)χ♦  Vedoucí zpěvák The National, oceněnovaný za jeho hluboký hlas, napjaté podání a kontemplativní texty. Např: „Vidím světlo hvězd skrz mraky Proč mě nikdo neposlouchá? Nenuť mě to opakovat nahlas Big Star dělají „Don’t Worry Baby“ Bipolární hrdost, plavat v přílivu Držte mrtvou hlavu nahoře a bradu nahoru Budeš to mít dost těžké Bez drog, bez lásky...“ (Serpentine Prison (Official Video))
Zpěvák získává bohatý vliv z hlubokého a intimního poslechu vedle jmen Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds ‚Boatman’s Call’ a Leonarda Cohena ‚You Want It Darker.’ Recenzent NME dává ★★★★  a píše v superlativech: „Vyrovnanost a statečnost od frontmana The National.“ „Serpentine Prison“ se původně měla stát nahrávkou cover verze, kterou vytvořila legenda R&B Booker T. Jones, který také produkoval sbírku popových standardů Willieho Nelsona z roku 1978 „Stardust“. Tento záznam poskytl plán toho, co se Berninger rozhodl udělat. Byl tak inspirován tím, že jaksi vstoupil pod kůži svých hrdinů, žil uvnitř příbytků svých písní, a to až tak, že o dva týdny později dokončil nahrávání 12~ti originálů s řadou hostů — zejména basistkou a spolupracovnicí Davida Bowieho Gail Ann Dorsey. Další spolupracovníci: Matt Barrick (The Walkmen), Andrew Bird, Mike Brewer, Hayden Desser, Scott Devendorf (The National), Booker T. Jones, Teddy Jones, Brent Knopf (El VY, Menomena), Ben Lanz (The National, Beirut), Walter Martin (The Walkmen), Sean O’Brien, Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan) a Harrison Whitford (Phoebe Bridgers). Skutečným středobodem alba je však dechberoucí skladba „Oh Dearie“ — nádherná ukolébavka s akustickou kytarou, klavírem a smyčcy na vrcholu Berningerova barytonu v nejkřehčí poloze, zatímco zpívá ochromující dopad vážení depresí: „Nemluvil jsem s nikým / nevím za jak dlouho ... nepřibližuj se ke mně / ochrnutí mě má.“ Je to sakra dovednost snížit pozornost posluchače a pak ovinout kolem nich ruce.

The National’s Matt Berninger. ©Chantal AndersonBorn: February 13, 1971 in Cincinnati, OH
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Album release: October 16, 2020
Record Label: Concord
Duration:     41:33
Tracks:
01. My Eyes Are T~Shirts   2:40    
02. Distant Axis   4:25    
03. One More Second   5:22    
04. Loved So Little   4:55        
05. Silver Springs feat: Gail Ann Dorsey   3:53    
06. h Dearie   3:16    
07. Take Me Out of Town   4:11    
08. Collar of Your Shirt   5:14    
09. All for Nothing   3:05    
10. Serpentine Prison   4:32

Gail Ann DorseyAllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson; Score: ★★★½
χ♦  Following the release of the National’s Grammy~winning album Sleep Well Beast in 2017, in addition to formulating Sleep Well Beast offshoot I Am Easy to Find (2019), singer Matt Berninger worked on a handful of one~off tracks with artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker, and he started sending prior collaborator Booker T. Jones ideas for a set of covers. Berninger mixed in an original song or two along the way and, with Jones’ encouragement, eventually focused on working up more originals, setting the covers aside. (Two of them, the Cure’s “In Between Days” and Mercury Rev’s “Holes,” were included on fundraising compilations earlier in 2020.) The resulting, Jones~produced Serpentine Prison is an intimate, ruminative solo debut not out of line with the more downcast output of his band. Far from a single~handed effort, he’s joined on the album by over a dozen guests, including National bassist Scott Devendorf, his El VY bandmate Brent Knopf, the Walkmen’s Walter Martin, and Andrew Bird, the latter three of whom fill multiple roles on the recording. Famed Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey (also of I Am Easy to Find) is a featured vocalist on “Silver Springs,” a song inspired by the waves of artists that leave home for the promise of the big city (“They’ll never understand you anyway in Silver Springs”). It opens with a slinky, melodic guitar line, then skeletal rhythm guitar and hand drums before Berninger enters with a talk~singing plea. The track includes the line “Don’t suck, don’t die,” which he lifted from Kristin Hersh’s 2015 book about her friendship with the late Vic Chestnutt — an example of a pact broken. The somber mood is maintained on songs about breakups (“One More Second”), depression (“Oh Dearie”), and isolation (“Take Me Out of Town”), with arrangements that seem spare even when they merge piano, varied guitars, drums, strings, and horns, as on the strained “Take Me Out of Town.” The emotional heart of the track list is “Loved So Little,” a nearly monotone, poem~like entry set to humming organ and spacious rhythm guitar until the arrangement gradually expands, inviting in bluesy harmonica among other instruments. Taken together, it’s a sequestered, rainy Sunday type of album with flawed, world~weary vocal performances that are laid bare by such impressionistic accompaniment. ★★★★
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By Andrew Trendell ⌊15th October 2020⌋ Score: ★★★★
χ♦  https://www.nme.com/reviews/album/matt-berninger-serpentine-prison-review-2784479 
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