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Beauty & Ruin

June 3, 2014 | Format: MP3

$5.99
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
4:08
30
2
2:39
30
3
2:55
30
4
2:14
30
5
3:23
30
6
3:40
30
7
2:54
30
8
2:03
30
9
3:14
30
10
2:18
30
11
3:16
30
12
3:25
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Format: Audio CD
This is another really strong recording from Bob Mould, and while it doesn't quite reach the bracing perfection of 2012's Silver Age, it comes darn close and definitely delivers the goods his current trio with Superchunk's drummer Jon Wurster and Verbow bassist Jason Narducy are adept at.

Things get off to a relatively measured start with the powerful yet mid-tempo "Low Season." This time around the sheer volume, punch, and musical aggression of Silver Age are exchanged for a more varied collection of tempos and textures. Bits of acoustic guitar and a capella hummed intros keep Beauty & Ruin from being another (albeit superb) guitar monolith. Once again care and attention are given to the interstices and cracks between songs. Layered guitar distortion and echos make tiny soundscapes that string the individual songs together like beads on a continuous chain.

When third track "I Don't Know You Anymore" fires up, it has an immediate familiarity; it's a very "Bob Mould" song from its lyrical DNA to its melodic skin. But if the worst you can say is that Mould writes songs that sound like his own songs, that's not much of a negative to level.

I find that as we really get into the mid-section of this album the pace picks up and carries through to the last note. The rhythm section really drives things along, bringing some of the best moments of Sugar and "Black Sheets Of Rain" to mind and even upping the tension-and-release. Mould's past experiments with merging electronic sounds and beats into his music often seemed a little timid, and there is no timidity on Beauty & Ruin. Beauty & Ruin sticks to the power trio format to great success.
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I've followed Bob Mould since Husker Du and own most of the albums he's done. This one ranks right up there with the best of any of his work.

Beauty & Ruin seems to contain the entire spectrum of Bob Mould's styles--high energy rock through contemplative ballads. It has something for everyone who is even mildly familiar with his work. It will satisfy long-time fans and serves as a wonderful introduction to those new to him. The ballads Forgiveness and Let the Beauty Be highlight his contemplative songwriting. I Don't Know You Anymore and Fix It are as good as any of his signature songs.

He's an American icon and this collection proves it over and over again.
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Bob's follow-up to his 2012 release "Silver Age" continues his return to the "meat and potatoes" songwriting that remains his strength as a recording artist. For as much as I love "Silver Age," "Beauty and Ruin" is a notch above in consistency.

Mould's fluid and concise songwriting, complimented with the clean production, propels "Beauty and Ruin" into a barnstorming listening experience. "Low Season" kicks-off the record with Mould's distinctive growl overtop an ominous melody. Things really accelerate with the album's second track "Little Glass Pill," and continue right on through until the last notes of closing track "Fix It."

Highlights here are the brief, punchy, but acerbic, "Hey Mr. Grey" and first single "I Don't Know You Anymore," which sounds like a long-lost Husker Du outtake. Not a bad song in this self-produced 12-track collection.
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Angry Bob has returned. One of punk rock's icons nails this one to the wall. "Beauty And Ruin" - success, aging, justice, injustice, love, loss... it's all here.

Why are you still reading this? It's a Bob Mould record. Press "Add To Cart". Do it. You know you want to.
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After Husker Du, a pair of tremendous solo albums, and Sugar's fairly brief but successful run, I lost track of Bob Mould. My loss...looks like I've got quite a bit of catching up to do. (But I'll pass on Bob's techno experiments, thankyouverymuch)
When I stopped at a local record shop in 2012, the unmistakable thunderpop of Bob Mould greeted me at the door. No need to shop any further, SOLD! Bob Mould was back with "Silver Age", and better than ever. "Silver" was a near-flawless album! The title track spoke to this 58 year old who'd never given up the sound of guitar thunder. "Silver Age" was easily my favorite album of '12.

"Beauty & Ruin" ratchets back that intensity just a few notches. It's much more introspective & personal lyrically, and while it's not a true concept album, the title theme runs through the entire thing. Mould's standard guitar/bass (Jason Narducy) /drums (Jon Wurster)
lineup once again sparkles, with Wurster deserving an extra shout out.

I like "Beauty & Ruin" just a tad less than "Silver Age", but both albums are well worth owning. Bob Mould still has a lot to say and the musical muscle to say it loud and clear.
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Everything about Mould's style is here; refined, defined, and rockin'! I grew up listening to Husker Du, and its encouraging to hear Mould's story telling and trade mark rock-roll arrangements are still as vital as ever. Mould has focused, and actualized his artistic strengths into yet another remarkable statement. I also like the way Amazon offers the CD with MP3 package. I was able to listen to the recording immediately, while knowing the higher-end quality CD was on the way.
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