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Smoke Ring for My Halo (LP+MP3)

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Vinyl, March 8, 2011
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$19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com in easy-to-open packaging. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia singer/songwriter KURT VILE returns with his second proper album (2008's Childish Prodigy was a compendium of sorts). Smoke Ring For My Halo is a gorgeously layered record. Ranging from the tender breezy folk in "Jesus Fever" to the tuff urban guitar riff of "Puppet To The Man," Vile's distinctive Philly-accented vocal ties together a sweeping & evocative project - a true American psychedelic folk album.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Baby's Arms
  2. Jesus Fever
  3. Puppet To the Man
  4. On Tour
  5. Society is My Friend
  6. Runner Ups
  7. In My Time
  8. Peeping Tomboy
  9. Smoke Ring For My Halo
  10. Ghost Town


Product Details

  • Vinyl (March 8, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B004I3U80C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,183 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Kurt Vile sneaks up you. There is a precision to his sound. It's possible to say there is nothing new happening here, but that wouldn't be entirely true. His attitude is subtle, mysterious, mischievous. It may be an everyman attitude on the surface, but it's more introspective and ambiguous. Great lines throughout- in a mood I haven't really heard before. "I get sick of just about everyone and I hide in my baby's arms" "I might not ever get off the couch again." He is being a downer but he's charming about it, so it's hard not to like him anyway. In some cases, he fails to assert himself with a complete thought, then second guesses his non-assertion: "think I'll never leave my couch again cuz when I'm out, I'm on it in my mind/ then again, I guess it ain't always that way." Besides the playfully oppressive lyrics are the great melodies, and the rest of the band are very, very solid. I can listen to this album over and over especially while making eggs and coffee in the mornings.
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By The Ox on October 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This really is a fantastic album and a stand out in this age of throw away Pitchfork artists whom value style and name dropping over substance and craft. A rare bird, Vile finds that perfect middle ground between classic Dinosaur Junior and Neil Young, adding his own twist.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For the sake of brevity, I'll get to the meat of the review immediately: I thoroughly enjoy this album. It's a beautiful, sadly uplifting, original work of art, which examines life, love, and loss from some satisfying and unique perspectives. This isn't music for a party; it is, however, great for chill moments, very personal and intimate, whether for listening solo, or as part of a couple.

Now, the vegetables: While the mega-giant, multinational, homogenizing, bottom-line-only record labels, and the recording industry, as a whole, continue to see revenues decline, and their rosters of hit-making artists shrink, a positive evolution has occurred. To wit: Thousands of artists, who would've been denied a recording deal just a few years ago, now have the opportunity to get their music heard; in many cases, these artists find a niche in which to flourish. I'm delighted that artists whose music would never have seen widespread availability before, now have the resources of hundreds of tiny indie labels. Kurt Vile is one of many beneficiaries of the indie label explosion.

I'd never bought a Kurt Vile album before this one. And, I strongly suspect, Vile and his band would have toiled in virtual anonimity twenty years back, until they each went their separate directions to raise a family and/or work a nine-to-five existence. What a loss for The Universe that would have been. Kurt Vile's voicings, lyrics, and music aren't for everyone, and some will be unable to recognize the lightning-in-a-bottle which is this recording; that's okay with Kurt, I'm sure. And Vile hasn't written his music for consumption by "everybody;" he wrote it as an expression of himself.

But if you're a little introspective-minded, and you can hear with an open mind, maybe you, too, will appreciate what he has to say, and how he says it, identifying and relating components of it to your own life. In my opinion, this is a gem of an album worthy of repeated listenings.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Peeping Tomboy is stuck in my head. It has been for weeks now and I heard the song quite some time ago. This record hits every high, every low, and every emotion you can wish to sidecar. I heard the term "bedroom rock" used before to describe this guy's music and I mentally agreed with that "genre" classification. This record is beyond awesome.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is superb in every way. If I wrote music, this would be the kind of music I would hope to make. Listening to some of Kurt's earlier stuff, it's obvious to me how how "Smoke Ring for My Halo" is the apotheosis of prior efforts in distilled form. This is smart, novel, and careful music, and I can only hope he makes more of it.
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By R. Kesler on October 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Have you ever found yourself talking right out loud with yourself? Well, Kirt Vile, one of the founding members of War On Drugs, seems to walk around the house deeply immersed in a lonesome running dialog with himself ... one filled with engaging unfocused melancholia. And while you or I may laugh when we catch ourselves being so open, Kirt slips on his shades and turns his conversations into songs, songs delivered in a stumbling lo-fi manner, songs that are solidly built, yet feel like you're hearing them from a guy standing in the corner of the train station with a mini-amp, guitar case opened to catch passer's by quarters. And if you're not in too much of a hurry, you might just find yourself drawn ever deeper into his listless mumbled lyrical wisdom as his songs work their way into you very being, relentlessly engulfing you ... like an empty house filled with dusty furniture, broken mirrors, and vanishing memories. Kirt rides with an uneasy justification, singing songs that are filled with an endearing presence, yet hang in the air like he's unsure of every word he speaks.

Smoke Ring For My Halo has no climax, it just hypnotically moves on and on, giving voice to all you ever thought or wished to say, yet finding yourself unable to get the vision, tempo, or tenor correct.

Review by Jenell Kesler
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very good, nearly great album. The production is much better than Childish Prodigy, and the songs are more mature as well. The tracks on the bonus disc are among the best songs on the album. This album displays Vile growing as a musician and song writer. If you like his work, you won't be disappointed. Its all there... the clever lyrics, the melodic slow grooves, the occasional wail and echo. This music inspires your mind. Buy it!
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