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Double Vinyl, Reissued
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Califone's debut album Roomsound - Originally self released in April of 2001. Roomsound covers the same rustic, slightly ramshackle back forty that Tim Rutili has been ploughing through since his previous band Red Red Meat. Only this time the tilled bedrock unveils the most vividly colored, luring crop of songs Rutili has ever harvested. The sleepy, country-blues picking and autumnal backwoods melodies are accented with striking splashes of electronic tone color, obsolete keyboards and off-kilter percussion. Lyrically, Roomsound penetrates the breath of pirates, poison apples at a tango contest and the waiting room between death and canonization where missionaries have quit and 19th-century prostitutes have been rescued for all the wrong reasons. Masterfully produced by Brian Deck, the album is vaulted far beyond the sum of its parts. Roomsound is a hauntingly unique and distinctive record of crafted and sculpted beauty.
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The music makes you want to see its' creation. I envision walking into a dimly lit tavern where band leader Rutili sits back in a corner, with smoke wafting toward the ceiling. Nothing is on the table but a stiff shot of whiskey and paper to write down a combination of random thoughts and visions.
The entire CD is an experience that envelops one and should not be dissected. If it must, like my early morning trips, my favorite cuts include Trout silk, Bottles and Bones and fisherman's wife. Percussion blends with banjo. Guitar throbs pushed on by a thumping bass. Picture that bar setting and then Rutili emerging as an early Dave Matthewsish type prescence with a well, let's say it, a Tim Rutili gift for writing and assembling a great cadre of musicians. Make sure to slow down and enjoy the whole experience!
It's hard to choose a favorite track from this album, as they are all excellent. I would pick "Bottles and Bones," "Porno Starlet vs. Rodeo Clowns," and "Slow RT. Hand" as the best on the album, but that is subject to change as I listen to it more.
I have listened to it five times now since I bought it last week, and it isn't getting old yet. I don't think it ever will get old, because everytime I listen, I hear something new.
Buy this album! You won't be sorry! And don't forget to check out their newest, Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People, which is a compilation of two EPs.