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Delta Spirit

4.0 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 13, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 release, the third album from the San Diego-based band. When it came time to record this album, the band members knew one thing: It was time to shake off the stylistic labels that have shadowed them since they formed in San Diego, CA, in 2005. The band were perplexed at being called rootsy Americana or twangy folk. In their eyes, Delta Spirit has always been a thoroughly modern rock band, and, with their self-titled new album, they set out to prove it. This project finds the quintet firing on all cylinders -- road-tested and armed with the breakthrough album of their career. Years of non-stop touring has been distilled into a sound this band can truly call their own, and with the help of producer Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), tracks like the lead single, California, and the infectious Otherside will help to bring Delta Spirit the wider audience they so clearly deserve.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder Records
  • ASIN: B006Z94A1A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,306 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It was a moment straight out of High Fidelity where John Cuscak turns on his customers to the Beta Band Three EPs; the clerks at my local Seattle vinyl haunt put on the self-titled new album by Delta Spirit. Who are they? I have no idea. All I can say is... WOW. This is a brassy, ambitious, euphoric, head spinning, toe tapping, nut busting, bra tossing, beer swilling, guitar smashing work of genius. There's a line in "The Bends" where Thom Yorke sings about "waiting for something to happen." That describes my feeling about the state of rock and roll in 2012. Beyond 2 masterpieces by Against Me!, nothing has quite excited me about real rock and freaking roll in some time. All of my favorite bands (Foo Fighters, Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello, Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid) have put out decent albums lately - but nothing that gets the heart pounding and the finger tapping the repeat button. Delta Spirit not only demands attention - it rewards it with lyrical depth and exquisite production. Every track crackles with urgency. This album entwines the dark textures and southern charm of My Morning Jacket's Evil Urges, the fearless ambition of Arcade Fire's Funeral, the fury of Against Me's New Wave, the heartbreak and sonic beauty of The Airborne Toxic Event, the grandiose balls of the Smashing Pumpkins' Gish, the swagger of The Heavy and the adrenaline rush of Radiohead's The Bends into a (kid you not, this is what it feels like) epic rollercoaster hayride under the big night sky.
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Format: Audio CD
That's right. The best ROCK album of the year belongs to Delta Spirit. I loved their last album "History From Below, but in my opinion it tended to drag toward the end. This is not the case with their third and self-titled album. There seems to be a re-newed urgency to this album and quite frankly it has a much harder sound with a sonic edge. At first, it's kind of jarring... in a good way. In a way that makes you wants to turn it up. There are many standouts on this album: Tear It Up, California, Idaho, Otherside and Money Saves. Hell, they are all great tracks. This album could possibly propel them to a much wider audience. Do yourself a favor and buy this record. See them live if you can and before they get huge. They are exciting to see.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't mind that DS have attempted to change their sound to a more Rock/Pop
style to avoid being put in boxes by critics, but a band should know it's
strengths. What they have done with their move from Folk/Rock to "Indie"/Pop
is throw out the strongest part of their music, the lyrical content. There
are a few really good songs on this album but the bulk seem to be written by
a different person than their first two CDs-someone that knows how to string together a bunch of boring rock cliches. I will probably not buy another album
by this band until they restore the quality of the songwriting. As someone
who has turned a lot of people on to their first albums I find this a huge
embarrassment,what the hell were they not thinking. If you want the "best
rock album of the year" so far I suggest the Cowboy Junkies "Singing in My Meadow" or Chuck Prophet's "Temple Beautiful".
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Format: Audio CD
Fresh, updated, more hip sound on this album which I find deeply enjoyable. I struggle to describe it but might compare it to current Phoenix or even classic INXS, but neither of those bands quite do justice to what Delta Spirit is kicking out on this album. This album is getting dissed by a lot of critics but I think it shows the same songwriting chops, group vocals, and quitar-playing as their previous albums with slicker production, compelling beats, and a more "indie-dance" sound to it; the band is growing and experimenting. That's a great thing. "California" and "Tear It Up" are great songs, and I find something about "Money Saves" compelling.
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Format: Audio CD
What happened? Everything was going good for Delta Spirit. They were a legit force of alt-rock/folk with jangly rockers, bar band grit, honest-bare-bones songwriting, and the chops to back it all up. Here we get their "mission statement" which comes off as little more than a ploy for modern rock radio with hopes of being pumped at your run-of-the-mill teen mall spots a la Kings of Leon's last 3 efforts, rather than exercising the soulfulness and earnestness that made their first 2 releases and EP great.

I totally agree with themusiclantern on his review. Not to state this album is completely void of some good moments, I'm sure they are there, but as a whole its a hard listen when knowing, loving and preferring their previous accomplishments. Here's hoping they find their footing again in the future and never record a song like "Telling the Mind" again.
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Format: Audio CD
In the context of their total output, this is a work that makes you wonder who you are dealing with. After reading their interviews regarding this work (where they declare THIS is the sound they've been moving toward), I guess the earlier efforts are remarkable because they are a fantastic aberration. Did they sort of mistakenly stumble upon the early american songwriter sound that the greats labored for lifetimes to generate? (and by greats, I'm not talking about Dylan or Neil Young, but the folks THEY were listening to). It was probably bringing out older folks like me who look for substance in their music because it had plenty of that.

Not that this work doesn't- it just feels like a grab for the younger mainstream pop market. And who can blame them?? Would you rather work your butt off for a few descent festivals and maybe some theater gigs, or tap into a more lucrative younger market where high energy butt shaking carries the day over profound songwriting? That's one take on the shift... others could have to do with personnel changes, new guitarist on this album, new songwriting style, taking everything less seriously. Who knows? I'm just one fan and still have their old stuff... not the first time this has happened to a promising young group.
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