Monday, September 14, 2009

Review: David Bazan Curse Your Branches

David Bazan
Curse Your Branches

For years, David Bazan (formerly under the name Pedro the Lion) has been weaving stirring tales of man’s relationship with God. But these are no hallelujah Christian rock songs. The fictitious tales tend to revolve around fallibility of both parties and are filled with constant questioning and disappointment.

Topically, his first full-length solo release follows a similar pattern. There’s just one big difference. For the first time in his career, Bazan himself becomes the main character. “Curse Your Branches” chronicles, both painfully and beautifully, Bazan’s own questioning, doubts, and beliefs.

Lyrically, this is the best piece in Bazan’s stunning catalog. He sings of losing faith in front of his wife and daughter, his family fasting for his salvation, and drinking to stop thinking about all of it. The only drawback is the countrified arrangements take away from the amazing weight of the message. And with so many solo versions of these songs floating the internet, it’s hard not to yearn for the stripped down performances.

Nevertheless, a nearly perfect release from one of rock’s most engaging songwriters.

For fans of: Pedro the Lion, Death Cab for Cutie

Rating: 4 of 4

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