After four albums that garnered regular (and not unwarranted) comparisons to both Cat Power and PJ Harvey, British born, Oregon based singer/songwriter Scout Niblett has turned her sights to something a bit more exploratory. Throughout This Fool Can Die Now, there's a subtle but unmistakable experimental feel very much akin to Scott Walker's more recent albums, such as Tilt and The Drift. Of course, it's not as if these 14 songs sound like Walker -- no one sounds like Scott Walker but Scott Walker -- but there's a similar fascination with minimalism, repetition, and dramatic dynamic shifts, and throughout this album, Niblett experiments with her vocal phrasing and range in a very Walker-like fashion, veering unexpectedly from a flirtatious coo to raw, throaty shrieking to a Karen Dalton-like folk-blues wail. The resulting songs aren't completely foreign to Niblett's longtime fans -- the opening "Do You Want to Be Buried with My People?," a duet with Will Oldham, is familiar countrified alt folk -- but there is a bracing fearlessness to This Fool Can Die Now that finally fully differentiates Scout Niblett from the rest of the "weird folk" boomlet.
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