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61 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 12, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Deceiver is quite a departure from the blistering instrumental bluegrass-esque leanings he cut his teeth on as a mandolin wunderkind. Deceiver also takes a bold, new route away from his subsequent solo work that featured his jazz/classical/progressive acoustic-style. In fact, Deceiver is the first Thile solo project to feature vocals, and only includes two instrumentals (palette cleansers). This album, exploring a rock direction, is the logical next step in the maturation of an artist who clearly heeds no boundaries and knows no limitations.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • ASIN: B0002ZDX2K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,948 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Denise on October 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I couldn't say it any better myself than Chris did in Acoustic Guitar Magazine's February issue: "My favorite records are the ones I have to really dig through before I feel acquainted with and happy with the experience. Our deepest listening experiences are when we're really familiar with something and yet still discovering. Like a great conversation with somebody you know inside and out but then you find something new about them. I wanted to make a record that would have interesting enough layers to dig that deep. And that's why the record's so short. I want people to put it back on and give it a chance, because there's a lot going on. I'd like to sit everyone who buys it down in my living room and walk them through the entire record, going, 'Yeah, I know that's weird, but here's why I think it's OK for it to be weird.'"

I know that at first when a lot of Chris Thile fans listen to the CD, they might feel a sense of shock. There are parts where Chris just rocks out HARD and people have to stop and take a double take: "What? Is that the same guy from Nickel Creek?" I am aware that some fans get so disoriented by this that they give the album a total thumbs down. I find that unfortunate, presumptuous, and judgemental.

Allow the album to be an onion to you. Trust me, it is definitely worth peeling away the layers. I know at first it may seem like you have no idea what he's trying to do, but if you sit down, read the lyrics, and listen to the songs -- you'll find that Chris' talents really do manifest in ways that are fresh, new, and different than any other artist you know. Chris has always been about paying respect to other genres in exchange for the creation of something completely his own.

But I beg you.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Simpson on February 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Let's be honest with ourselves. Those of us who have been really keeping up with Nickel Creek for the past 5 years werent really shocked by this album. Yes, I love Chris' instrumental/bluegrass work but that is now where he or the other members are at. They all listen to more Radiohead and Wilco than any bluegrass artists at the moment. The only things that the last Nickel Creek album had in common with bluegrass were the backer cards in the CD store. Perhaps he grew up in Bluegrass and is one of the most accomplished musicians of his time but like most young musicians of any caliber, you cannot depend on them to stay static.

Ok, some people think the songwriting on this album is sub-par...I am here as a musician to say that, although there are few "lightning fast" licks here, these arangements are amazing. Odd time signatures, unconventional keys, changes that most people could not dream up, much less play. No, these songs arent for the casual listener. You will not find any radio hits on here. You will only find a hint of his bluegrass chops here. What you will find is one of the best "indi-rock" albums in quite some time...

If you liked Nickel Creeks cover of Pavements "spit on a stranger" then give this a try. If you hated it, start looking for a new bluegrass idol because Chris has moved on...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Flannery on February 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
And it's not Alison Krauss, either. It's a guy with more talent in his REM sleep than the rest of us on a heavy caffeine (or choose your own pharmaceutical reference) buzz.

I bought "Deceiver" at Barnes/Noble at the same time I bought a Merle Haggard box set ("Down Every Road"), so that might tell you a little of where I'm coming from on this. I adore the alleged classic songs of the masters, but I also appreciate the journeys they take along their careers.

"Deceiver" is one of the paths Chris Thile has chosen. Accept it for what it is. Don't assume that because you've bought and heard the previous Thile/Watkins/NC works, that this will be identical. In fact, if it were identical, it would be ripped for being the same stuff, and Thile would be ripped for lacking imagination.

Listen, this guy lives on a different planet than the rest of us. Don't assume that everything he does will be a extension of Bill Monroe or Ronnie McCoury or Sam Bush or David Grisman. He's above and beyond that calling.

Like a lot of the folks who have reviewed "Deceiver" here, I too had a little trouble making it through the CD the first few times. The first words I muttered were "experimental" and "self-indulgent." But so what. I muttered the same two words about Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose" the first five times I heard that, too, and now, I've come to appreciate it as being reflective of who she is at this moment of her life.

Same with Thile. This is who he is now. Not the same guy he was at 16, and probably not the same guy he'll be at 37. And since those first few run-throughs of "Deceiver," I have heard the damn thing another 245,337 times (that approximate).

Is "Deceiver" experimental? Absolutely.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W. Allyn on February 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album blows me away. This is NOT the kind of music you'll hear on the radio so if you're looking for mainstream, you won't find it in the genuine and honest melodies that come from Chris's mandolin, voice, heart. I've admired his work with Nickel Creek, there's no denying the talent of musicianship but this album goes much deeper than knowing how to play, this album plays like a shakespearean novellette. Please just put this on and give it several times listening before rushing to conclusions. These lyrics, melodies deserve an innocent listen, a virgin ear will easily see masterpiece. The radio-trained listener will probably not get it at all. This is one my favorite new finds this year. Thank you Chris for being brave enough to travel within and take your listeners on this wonderful journey with you.
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