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Wit's End

Cass McCombsAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Price: $10.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Cass McCombs, a sixth generation Californian, has produced seven and a half albums in his decade-long career. Since his emergence at a 2003 Peel session, McCombs’ provocative and vibrant songs have been covered by numerous artists, including Bob Weir and The National, who performed “Love Thine Enemy” in 2012. McCombs’work appears in diverse venues, from Thomas ... Read more in Amazon's Cass McCombs Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Wit's End + Humor Risk + Catacombs
Price for all three: $42.13

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  • Humor Risk $17.04
  • Catacombs $14.10

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Domino
  • ASIN: B004QSQM7W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,963 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs' fifth-and-a-half album, Wit's End, is the result of two years recording in various homes and studios in California, New York, New Jersey and Chicago. The album is full of sounds that conjure the colors purple and black; this is his darkest record to date. Cass is not a man afraid of his own shadow, for in this environment of complete darkness, no shadows can be cast. This is a world of total feeling. Wit's End was produced by Cass with Ariel Rechtshaid; the same duo that created his previous album, Catacombs.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 slow, thoughtful stars June 9, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One good critic's review I'd read of this (PopMatters, maybe?) said he was probably at his wit's end trying to get people's attention to his remarkable voice and songwriting, and so he called the album that. He really is one of the best singer-songwriters of his style and generation, comparable to Ron Sexsmith or John Vanderslice, among many others, but since it is a quieter album, it takes some more time and effort to get into. Catacombs was one wonderful moment after another, starting with the catchier lead-off track, My Dream-Come-True Girl, which, though it employs 1950's style song structure and backing instruments, ends up being rather hip. Try to find the youtube video with Karen Black if you can. I really can't stress enough how he belongs in the top tier, or at least the next lowest tier, among those mentioned earlier. I might compare him to a later Van Morrison with a younger voice, but that might end up sounding like hyperbole (and it would be, but at times, it comes to mind).

If you've heard the past album, then trust me that this one is just about as good, but you may find the listening experience different. It's a little quieter and dirge-like, not as hook-laden, and the average song is longer, the last one being over nine minutes. I did find the vocal lines to get repetitive in many parts, as they often followed mechanically along the dragging base beats in an a-melodic and predictable way (though this is part of his familiar style). And the subtle sense of humor, or at least the enjoyment of life, that pervaded Catacombs, is hard to find (though it's never melodramatic or rarely depressing), with songs building into small climaxes that result in the songs often slowing down further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A minimalist masterpiece! June 21, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Full of such aching restraint and funereal pacing, "Wit's End" uses sparse arrangements to expose Cass McComb's frail and haunting melodies. At first blush, this might sound like a formula that couldn't sustain all eight tracks on the album, but it is no gimmick -- just one great melody after another... And not an instrument or word out of place.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album October 4, 2011
Great album all the way through. Little darker than his previous work but I was hooked on the first song. Would rate 4 stars but giving it 5 to balance out that idiot's one star review about the condition of the record he ordered.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Songs For Late Night May 3, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I love this, it reminds me of Elliott Smith, Donovan and the Beatles. I can tell it was meticulously written and crafted, resulting in a consistantly exellent work. I think people should take notice of Wit's End, and I'm suprised no one else has reviewed it yet.
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