Customer Reviews: Delta Spirit
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on April 6, 2012
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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on March 13, 2012
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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on March 24, 2012
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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on April 2, 2012
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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on March 18, 2012
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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on May 20, 2012
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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VINE VOICEon May 1, 2014
The truth of the matter is that Delta Spirit has what a lot of other bands wish they had, and that is a whole lot of heart. Saw them for the first time ever in Austin City Limits and they played a very small set that time, as they were sharing the bill with a fellow named Bob Mould. I could not believe they had slipped under my radar for so long, also that the brilliant Matt Vazques was from Dana Point as well as Austin. The live show was so good I never forgot them after it. Yes, I purchased their latest album, and was somewhat sad that the clarity of the voice, and the overall sound had been sacrificed in their efforts to take a newer route. The way they sounded at the concert mentioned above was without a doubt, incredibly good. He sang a song dedicated to his grandparents that shook the building, and then they even played a couple of songs from their newer release. Matt Vasquez has a knack for writing good songs, and Delta Spirit sounds are quite good, the group can play and put up a great performance. I did not like the voice changes, and the compressed way in which the songs were recorded, it took out some of the sincerity of effort this band brilliantly shows in their live performances, but I liked them enough that I started searching for more information regarding this talented group. It is obvious that Mr. Matt Vasquez sings from the heart, and will soon (God willing, and of course, they) will no doubt let the Delta Spirit shine again. Yes, the album is not a five stars, but Delta Spirit surely deserves no less. 5 Stars!
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on March 19, 2012
No easy way to say this, but this is a radical departure from the previous DS sound. I'm sure they have their reasons, but I find it far more dull. I'll listen to the album again, but after the first two listens, there are probably two songs I would be interested in hearing again.

Sorry to be blunt, but 80% of the album sounds like filler for a 90s/2000s teen movie.
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on March 12, 2014
Wow, some people are so closed minded. Especially those that gave this album bad reviews solely because Delta Spirit transitioned to a new and different sound, one that I feel better suits them. But unfortunately I guess that's just how most people are. They only listen to music they know and if something sounds different to them, or if an artist does something new and original, they feel uncomfortable and immediately reject it.

Overall I absolutely loved this album and it's one of my top 10 albums of the past couple years. This album reminds me a lot of the Secret Machines and My Morning Jacket and if you know who these groups are then you know that's really saying something. The fact that this album is self titled, coupled with how natural this album feels makes me believe that this was the sound Delta Spirit had been going for all along, because this album simply works. The Vocals and Music beautifully complement each other and there's some inherently special quality about their music that just makes it glow. Empty House, Tear it Up and California are all incredible tunes but my favorite is Money Saves which gives me chills when I listen to it. I highly recommend listening to this album if you're a serious music lover because you'll only be wondering why you hadn't heard it sooner. I loved it so much, I'm now buying a copy of this album on vinyl.
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on March 16, 2012
Just in time for the up and coming summer of 2012, Delta Spirit release a slightly more ambitious album. Some of these songs could easily find their way onto the California radio. The songs are far more direct this time around and they're eager to get your attention. The first half flys by, in a good way, and draws you in. I personally like the new style and I wouldn't skip any of these songs but the same people who couldn't like Deer Tick's new sound will probably remain stubborn on this one as well. Trust me, this album grows on you even if you're a diehard fan of the older Delta Spirit.
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