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28 Reviews
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled
Kurt Vile sneaks up you. There is a precision to his sound. It's possible to say there is nothing new happening here, but that wouldn't be entirely true. His attitude is subtle, mysterious, mischievous. It may be an everyman attitude on the surface, but it's more introspective and ambiguous. Great lines throughout- in a mood I haven't really heard before. "I get...
Published on October 9, 2011 by amorfortuna2

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Whining about whining.
I've had this album 2 and a half years now. And it does get 1 star because I listen to it once. I think his newer albums are better. I think his voice is not my cup of tea. I would not call this stoner music. It's just singer songwriter and it the quality of the album has to do with the producers. In the alt rock soloist area ... man voice. Eliot Smith, John Frusciante,...
Published 6 months ago by mon2cents


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled, October 9, 2011
This review is from: Smoke Ring for My Halo (Audio CD)
Kurt Vile sneaks up you. There is a precision to his sound. It's possible to say there is nothing new happening here, but that wouldn't be entirely true. His attitude is subtle, mysterious, mischievous. It may be an everyman attitude on the surface, but it's more introspective and ambiguous. Great lines throughout- in a mood I haven't really heard before. "I get sick of just about everyone and I hide in my baby's arms" "I might not ever get off the couch again." He is being a downer but he's charming about it, so it's hard not to like him anyway. In some cases, he fails to assert himself with a complete thought, then second guesses his non-assertion: "think I'll never leave my couch again cuz when I'm out, I'm on it in my mind/ then again, I guess it ain't always that way." Besides the playfully oppressive lyrics are the great melodies, and the rest of the band are very, very solid. I can listen to this album over and over especially while making eggs and coffee in the mornings.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Proper Companion for Introspection, April 8, 2011
By 
Mikie (Raleigh, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smoke Ring for My Halo (Audio CD)
For the sake of brevity, I'll get to the meat of the review immediately: I thoroughly enjoy this album. It's a beautiful, sadly uplifting, original work of art, which examines life, love, and loss from some satisfying and unique perspectives. This isn't music for a party; it is, however, great for chill moments, very personal and intimate, whether for listening solo, or as part of a couple.

Now, the vegetables: While the mega-giant, multinational, homogenizing, bottom-line-only record labels, and the recording industry, as a whole, continue to see revenues decline, and their rosters of hit-making artists shrink, a positive evolution has occurred. To wit: Thousands of artists, who would've been denied a recording deal just a few years ago, now have the opportunity to get their music heard; in many cases, these artists find a niche in which to flourish. I'm delighted that artists whose music would never have seen widespread availability before, now have the resources of hundreds of tiny indie labels. Kurt Vile is one of many beneficiaries of the indie label explosion.

I'd never bought a Kurt Vile album before this one. And, I strongly suspect, Vile and his band would have toiled in virtual anonimity twenty years back, until they each went their separate directions to raise a family and/or work a nine-to-five existence. What a loss for The Universe that would have been. Kurt Vile's voicings, lyrics, and music aren't for everyone, and some will be unable to recognize the lightning-in-a-bottle which is this recording; that's okay with Kurt, I'm sure. And Vile hasn't written his music for consumption by "everybody;" he wrote it as an expression of himself.

But if you're a little introspective-minded, and you can hear with an open mind, maybe you, too, will appreciate what he has to say, and how he says it, identifying and relating components of it to your own life. In my opinion, this is a gem of an album worthy of repeated listenings.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, October 20, 2011
This review is from: Smoke Ring for My Halo (Audio CD)
This really is a fantastic album and a stand out in this age of throw away Pitchfork artists whom value style and name dropping over substance and craft. A rare bird, Vile finds that perfect middle ground between classic Dinosaur Junior and Neil Young, adding his own twist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I don't want to change but I don't want to stay the same.", February 9, 2012
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This review is from: Smoke Ring for My Halo (Audio CD)
This album is superb in every way. If I wrote music, this would be the kind of music I would hope to make. Listening to some of Kurt's earlier stuff, it's obvious to me how how "Smoke Ring for My Halo" is the apotheosis of prior efforts in distilled form. This is smart, novel, and careful music, and I can only hope he makes more of it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamond in the rough! Best album I've heard in a very long time..., May 27, 2011
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This review is from: Smoke Ring for My Halo (Audio CD)
I bought this out of curiousity after hearing a few clips and I absolutely love this thing! great production and enough rawness to make the beauty shine even more. Do yourself a favor and just buy it already. By the way, it only gets better with each listen so give it time. you are welcome
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great vibe!, December 9, 2012
By 
Cindy Raye (northern Virginia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smoke Ring for My Halo (Audio CD)
I love the wistfulness of these songs. My favs on the CD are On Tour, Society is My Friend, In My Time, and Puppet to the Man. Yes, Kurt, I will help you do it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kurt ..., October 16, 2012
This review is from: Smoke Ring for My Halo (Audio CD)
Have you ever found yourself talking right out loud with yourself? Well, Kirt Vile, one of the founding members of War On Drugs, seems to walk around the house deeply immersed in a lonesome running dialog with himself ... one filled with engaging unfocused melancholia. And while you or I may laugh when we catch ourselves being so open, Kirt slips on his shades and turns his conversations into songs, songs delivered in a stumbling lo-fi manner, songs that are solidly built, yet feel like you're hearing them from a guy standing in the corner of the train station with a mini-amp, guitar case opened to catch passer's by quarters. And if you're not in too much of a hurry, you might just find yourself drawn ever deeper into his listless mumbled lyrical wisdom as his songs work their way into you very being, relentlessly engulfing you ... like an empty house filled with dusty furniture, broken mirrors, and vanishing memories. Kirt rides with an uneasy justification, singing songs that are filled with an endearing presence, yet hang in the air like he's unsure of every word he speaks.

Smoke Ring For My Halo has no climax, it just hypnotically moves on and on, giving voice to all you ever thought or wished to say, yet finding yourself unable to get the vision, tempo, or tenor correct.

Review by Jenell Kesler
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible haunting beautiful album, September 16, 2012
By 
J. Barnett "Cambridge artist" (Cambridge, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Kurt Vile has the power to soothe, provoke, repel, lull... He is the perfect accompaniment to a long journey, whether by car, train, or wagon.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing listen, April 17, 2011
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I remember seeing Kurt Vile briefly at FYF playing solo and wasn't really moved one way or the other. But upon seeing a lot of good reviews for this record, I decided to take a chance. Glad I did, I really enjoy this record.

Compelling and engrossing, tuneful, and never boring. Sometimes acoustic-based, but rich soundscapes that are slightly poppy, slightly garage-y and "indie", with doses of electronica, and at times with a mick jagger-like swagger, there is enough diversity to keep the listener engaged, but a consistent style to keep the recording cohesive.

This album is currently only $6 as an mp3 album, so a great buy. I would recommend this as a driving record.
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, March 18, 2011
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I'm always amazed at how American roots music can be spun into something that sounds fresh, genuine, and conveys emotion so well. This is a very good record, give it a spin.
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Smoke Ring for My Halo (LP+MP3)
Smoke Ring for My Halo (LP+MP3) by Kurt Vile (Vinyl - 2011)
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